Eileen was mainly involved in painting in oils and acrylics and mixed media work up to 1997, and exhibited in many local exhibitions. In 97-98 she attended a course in the National College of Art and Design and was introduced to printmaking by Taffina Flood of the Graphic studio. She liked the technical aspect of it and the unexpectedness of the results and became a founder member of the Leinster Printmaking studio in 1998.
In the beginning she worked mostly with carborundum and collograph as these techniques suited the textural quality of her work but went on to practice safe etching techniques with copper sulphate and to use photo polymer etching as this is very suitable for transferring text onto plates. Recently she has begun to experiment with screen printing. Traditional printmaking involves making a plate for each colour layer of the print, and inking the plate which is then rolled through an etching press to transfer the image to paper. Thus multiple images can be made- from small to larger editions- I usually do editions of a maximum of 30 prints.
Eileen took part in a collaborative print project between the Leinster printmaking studio and The Regional print centre Wrexham from 2008 to 2011 and participated in residencies in Cill Rialig in Kerry and in Nant Gwrtheyrn, in Wales. She started working with her Welsh ‘twin’ Linda on the idea of home and memory. They began with sources such as the Irish bog and the slate mines in Wales and exploring mapping as a way of describing the landscape. Eileen began to work on imagery inspired by the bog near my home- Mouds bog- exploring its physical presence through making collographs from materials found on the bog and also its history of burial rituals and its inspiration for poets such as Seamas Heaney. Eileen is also a writer and is very interested in words and language. This project has widened the scope of her work with a broader use of ideas, from texture to text and mapping, and has given her an interest in making artists books.
Recently she has developed the use of mapping as a background to drawings of buildings and monuments and streetscapes in Kildare. Her work has moved away from abstraction and become more figurative and returned to where I started with depictions of landscape and I have returned also to painting in oils and acrylics.