Andrew Kearney

ON ARRIVING: an exhibition by Andrew Kearney, Artist in Residence at Watts Gallery - Artists' Village will be on display in Watts Contemporary Gallery from 14 June - 10 July. For more information, click here.


Andrew Kearney was born in Limerick, Ireland in 1961. He studied fine art at Limerick College of Art and Design, before going on to obtain an MA in sculpture at Chelsea College of Art and Design. In 1992, he was awarded the Barclays Young Artist Award at the Serpentine Gallery in London as well as a fellowship from the Irish Arts Council to work in the MoMA PS1 Studios in New York. Kearney returned to London in 1993 to develop an installation for The Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin, later followed by installations for the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the Camden Arts Centre in London, the Lighthouse-Glasgow, the Ottawa Art Gallery in Ontario and the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, Canada.

Site-specific work led to collaborative architectural projects, including a commission in 1996 for Heathrow Terminal One with architect Nicholas Grimshaw and the Public Art Development Trust. In 2001 Kearney worked on Glen Howell's Millennium Project for Westminster Council and on the Courtyard Interface for South Thames College in London and the Public Arts Commission Agency. In 2001-02 he completed two large installation projects in Ireland: With Intent in Limerick and Illumination at the Boiler House in Ballymun Estate Dublin. In 2004, he was commissioned to develop Art Wall in Limerick County's new chambers. In 2004, he completed his second residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada.

In 2008, Kearney completed a three-year AHRC funded research project at Middlesex University, London producing two books comprising theoretical and practical research: Phase 2 (2007), and Spaces Buildings Make (2008) which culminated in an installation on the South Bank, part of the London Architecture Biennale. He has worked on interactive lighting projects for several places, including Liquid Mountain (2009) at Wexford Opera House in Ireland; Art in Empty Spaces (2010) in Hull, and Embrace the Place (2011) at Tate Britain. In 2012 he was invited to be the artist and mentor for the Plug-In ICA Summer Programme in Winnipeg, Canada. The same year he showed at Nuit Blanche in Toronto and Man Size in New York. As part of Ireland's presidency for the EU Council, Kearney won the commission to install SKYLUM (2013) in the Justus Lipsius Council Building in Brussels. In 2014-15 he was commissioned to create Tell Me Something for Limerick City of Culture, his largest work to date. He also completed a five-room installation at the Limerick City Gallery of Art entitled The Meaning of Nothing. In 2015 he was awarded a three-month residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, which he undertook before starting at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village in September.

Andrew Kearney at Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

During his year-long residency at Watts Gallery – Artists' Village, Andrew Kearney is exploring how the act of seeing and inverting may prompt us to re-examine our relationship to the changing environment and how we perceive the role of art and display.

Kearney will build on his exploration of materiality as a way of translating thoughts and ideas into solid form, and how new meanings arise. He hopes to merge this with his own approach to ceramic, bronze and glass, reflecting on traditional art making processes which, by the use of light, sound, performance and photography, will become abstractions in the narrative development of the processes themselves.

Using various locations within the Artists' Village, Kearney plans to create temporary interventions within the historic buildings and the surrounding woodland which will prompt us to assess our own relationship with time and space.

Different media will converge in these installations, which will draw from the rich heritage of G F and Mary Watts's legacy. Using archival material to explore the artistic process, Kearney will re-think the notion of object and landscape and thus of human and artistic intervention.

Open Studio and Contact

Drop into Andrew's studio on the Watts Gallery estate for free on the second Thursday every month, 2-4pm.

For further information about the Watts Gallery Artist in Residency scheme, please contact us on 01483 810235 or email

To contact Andrew directly, please visit his website.