Welcome to this BLOG site which serves more as a Web site than a Blog. I hope that you find the information you need here and if not please contact me.
I am currently working on drawings in the studio which are based on blind contour drawings or people I know and continued small drawings of close ups of farm equipment with pigments, inks and graphite.  Am also exploring larger graphite drawings of animals and new photographic work with the Holga camera.  In 2015 the exhibition based on the “Townlands” series will be exhibited at the Old Market Arts Centre in Dungarvan, County Waterford.


Ruairi O'NeillDervla MurphyCormac BoydellMichelle





pig #1New Animal Drawings

pickaxe copyloader copyEarthworks Work from Kilkenny Arts Festival Exhibition, 2013


Earthworks #40, 2014

A New Earthworks Drawing, 2014


Work from current projects

are also viewed on FLIKR


Previous Post

Townlands is an ongoing series of drawings and photographs based on the rural landscape. Most recent drawings are under the title: “Earthworks”. which were exhibited as a solo exhibition during the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2013. During National Heritage Week, 2010, “Townlands” was presented. Not only did it contain new work by both artists but it also involved the local National School and the community. On the 28th of August there was a forum with Carmel Cummins, Kerry Hardie, Paddy Kelly, moderated by Helen Carroll.
Following is a description of 2009′s exhibition and the purpose of the project.
Alan Counihan and Gypsy Ray presented an exhibition, “Townland” for inclusion in the Visual Art Programme of Kilkenny Arts Festival 2009. The exhibition is part of a new collaborative strand of work ,“Townlands”, which sets out to explore a very specific place, the townlands in the parish of Rathcoole, Co Kilkenny in all their resonant complexities.
The focus is primarily on the “vernacular” history of the townland fields, the names and stories by which they are still specifically remembered. However ’Townlands” is not an exercise in, nor celebration of, cultural nostalgia. Its explorations of vernacular traditions and customs are accompanied by an examination of, reflection on and juxtaposition with, the contemporary practices by which they have been supplanted.

The overall goal of “Townlands” is to re-present local place to local people, among others, by means of a creative distillation, re-envisioning and expression of its folklore. history and contemporary landscape. This re-presentation, through exhibition- and possible publication,- will be in a vibrant and contemporary language, the past of a place viewed through the eye of its presence.

Series of Swimming Drawings and Photographs
I have been a swimmer since childhood and through my early 20’s in rivers, lakes and the waterways made from strip mines in Illinois. Now I swim in indoor pools and the occassional natural body of water. Moving through water was then, as it is now, a cathartic experience and one which brought me a freedom of movement and of spirit.

Towards the Light, graphite on paper, 2009

Swimming seems a metaphor for moving through the stages of my life, encompassing the passage of time, the various events that shape days and situations. Gliding through water without the need to move faster than my body of the day allows, gives me time to reflect. I have grieved in water, felt elated, planned days and work during the rhythmic swimming of laps. To swim seems essential to creative expression.

This series of work comprises of drawings and photographs which I started making a few years ago and continue to this day.



Gypsy Ray will be working with the Carlow Women’s Network during the autumn of 2014 towards a photographic exhibition to be shown at VISUAL Arts Centre.

Her drawings have been included in several RHA juried exhibitions during the last few years.  She has also been an invited artist to the same exhibition.  Her drawings and photographs have continued to be exhibited: TOWNLANDS exhibitions 2009,2010, EARTHWORKS solo exhibition for the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2013.  A complete resume is included on this blog.

During 2009 Gypsy Ray completed residencies for both County Carlow Arts Office and County Kilkenny Arts Office where during both she engaged the communities while focusing on her own artist practice. Ray’s work is primarily informed by and focused on photography and drawing and she has exhibited extensively in both group and solo shows in the United States and Europe over the last thirty years. Her photographic work is included in the United States Library of Congress Collections and the Wellcome Trust Collection at the British Museum in London. Her drawings are in private collections such as: Rudolf and Eva Hetzel, Andrew and Tina Kavanagh.
She taught photography in art departments at third level for 24 years at various institutions including: University of California Berkeley San Francisco Center, University of California at Santa Cruz Extension Programs, City College of San Francisco and Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz County, USA. She currently is the Arts Facilitator for the Butler Gallery’s 5-6 Women’s Art Programme in Kilkenny, Ireland where she now lives.More of her photographic work and drawings can be viewed on her Flikr site.

Swimming Hole, traditional photographic print, 2014 copy 2

This series of drawings, “Concealment”, is deeply rooted in the first hand experience of serious illness, breast cancer, it’s treatment and all else that comes with it. This work began as a private investigation but it has evolved beyond the strictly personal and specific disease.

Each image portrays a human body, although this is not always immediately visible and must be searched out by the viewer. Across the backgrounds I use graphite, lead and coloured pencil to obscure the figure and to create shapes representative of “crossing out” and geometric forms suggestive of medical dressings. It is this tension between revelation and concealment, the gray territory of doubt, which the work sets out to explore.
I need to thank the Kilkenny County Arts Office and the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for their support for this specific series

From Concealment Series of Drawings


More images can be viewed on Flickr.  29th August: Flickr account is under changes.


Born: Kewanee, Illinois, USA

Home: Johnswell, Co Kilkenny, Ireland.

Recent or Upcoming (2013-2010)

2015    Townlands: a habitation, drawings and photographs, collaborative exhibition at Old Market Arts Centre, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Ireland

2013    Earthworks, solo exhibition for Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland.

2013    EIGSE Open, VISUAL Art Centre, Carlow, Ireland.

2013    Royal Hibernian Academy 2013, Juried, Two works, Dublin, Ireland.

2012    Townlands: a habitation, drawings and photographs, two portfolios in                   publication by Two Streams Press, Ireland.

2012     Royal Hibernian Academy 2012, invited artist, drawings, Dublin, Ireland.

2011      Drawings, feature article on Townlands Project, Heritage Outlook Magazine,             Heritage Council of Ireland.

2011    Townlands, Two-person exhibition, drawings and photographs, The             Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, Co Clare, Ireland.

2011     Residency, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland.

2010     Photographs: HIV/AIDS, feature article, A&U Magazine, 11/10.USA.

2010    Drawings, curated group exhibition, The Lavitt Gallery, Cork, Ireland.


2009    30 Years of Photographic Portraiture, Eigse Arts Festival; Carlow, Ireland.

2009      Townlands 1, Drawings and Photographs, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland.

2007      Drawings and Photographs, Airfield House, Dublin, Ireland.

2004      Drawings and Photographs, Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim.

2001       Baldwin Photographic Gallery, Middle Tennessee University,

Featured artist/speaker, National Women’s History Month. USA.

2000      Clotworthy Arts Centre, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

1995       The County Hall, Kilkenny City, Ireland.

1994        Boyle Arts Festival, County Roscommon, Ireland.

1994        Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA.

1994        University of California at Berkeley Extension Center Gallery, Ca.USA.

1991        City Hall, San Francisco, Ca. USA.

1986        University of California at Berkeley, Extension Center Gallery, Ca. USA.

1982        The Bell Table Arts Centre, Limerick, Ireland.

1982        Triskel Arts Centre, Cork City, Ireland.


2009    Fís 09, curated group exhibition of contemporary Irish artists; drawings,             Aghafar Gallery, Novas Arts Centre, Liverpool, England.

2009    The Healing Arts Trust, Drawings, two-person exhibition; Waterford Regional             Hospital, Ireland.

2006    RHA 2006, juried, two works, Dublin, Ireland.

2004     Undercurrents, Drawings and photographs, The Old Market Arts Centre,

Dungarvan, Co Waterford, Ireland.

2001-2 Wexford Book Arts International, Travelling exhibition, Ireland.

2001     Watsonville Wetlands, Photographs, Pajaro Valley Arts Centre, Santa Cruz County, USA.

2000     Drawings and Photographs, Cabrillo College Art Gallery, Aptos, Ca. USA.

1990      AIDS in Bay Area Photography, EYE Gallery, San Francisco, Ca. USA.

1988      AIDS: The Artists’ Response, The Ohio State University Wexner Center

For The Visual Arts, Columbus, Ohio, USA.

1988      Bearing Witness: Artists Respond to AIDS, Hera Gallery, Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA.

1988      Bearing Witness: Artists Respond to AIDS, Mobius Gallery, Boston, USA.

1987      Look at Me, Work on AIDS, Works Gallery, San Jose, Ca. USA.

1987      Behold the Man, work on the Male Nude, Travelling exhibition by Stills             Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

1978      The Male Nude, Marcuse Pfeiffer Gallery, New York, N.Y., USA.

1978      Photo Erotica, Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco, Ca.  USA.

1978      The Male Nude, A Woman’s View, Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco.    Ca.,USA.


2007   The Poetry of Place, Artist’s book of Holga photographs, Introduction by Anna O’Sullivan, Kilkenny, Ireland.

2000    Watsonville Wetlands, photographs, California, USA.

1999      Communities Magazine, Portfolio of Camphill photographs / essay, USA.

1997-8   SOURCE: Photographic Review, Portfolio of Camphill photographs, Winter issue, Belfast, N. Ireland.

1977      Cara, portfolio of Camphill photographs, Nov./Dec. issue, Ireland.

1993      VIEW CAMERA, Portfolio of San Francisco Middle School Portraits, USA.

1990      Congressional Quarterly Inc, Photographs on AIDS, Washington, DC, USA.

1990      Gypsy Ray, The AIDS Work, monograph, Gallerie Publications, Vancouver, Canada.

1989      Erotic by Nature, Portfolio of Nudes; book.ed: David Steinberg, USA.

1987      AIDS, photographs; MS magazine, USA.

1980      The History of the Male Nude in Photography, photographs, Vermont             Crossroads Press, USA

1979      Creative Camera, Portfolio on the Nude, London, England


WELLCOME TRUST GALLERY, British Museum, London, England

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Permanent Collections, Washington, DC, USA

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, University of California at Santa Cruz, USA

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, Goddard College, Vermont, USA

The Collection, Kilkenny County Council, Ireland.


2006      Artist’s Profile, by Katherine Blake, KILKENNY PEOPLE, Ireland.

2000      Artist’s Profile, by Nancy Redwine, SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL, July, USA.

1999       Artist’s Profile, by Mary Spenoza, SANTA CRUZ METRO, November, USA.

1988      “Photographing AIDS, Difficult Subject”, review of group exhibition by Independent Curators, New York City; Robert Atkins, VILLAGE VOICE magazine, June edition, New York, USA

1986      “An Exhibit Concerning AIDS”, review, AFTERIMAGE magazine, September, USA.

1986      “An Exhibit Concerning AIDS” review by Jan Grover, ARTWEEK magazine, August, USA.


1997      “Photographing Light”, ILFORD INSTRUCTOR newsletter,11/97. Ilford             Photography INC, USA.

1996       Portfolio ; photographs + evaluation: EU Horizon Projects/ KCAT             Programmes, Camphill Ballytobin, Ireland

1983      Work from Ireland, Branson De Cou Photographic Archive, Evening Echo,             24/3, Cork, Ireland.


2009     Tyrone Guthrie Centre Bursary, Arts Office, Kilkenny County Council,             Ireland

2009    Drawing Residency, John Street Gallery, Kilkenny County Council, Ireland

2007    Arts Act Grant, publication of The Poetry of Place, Arts Office, Kilkenny             County Council, Ireland

2004     Arts Act Grant, Arts Office, Kilkenny County Council, Ireland

1989      Santa Cruz County Arts Commission. Grant for work on Aids, USA

1997       Tyrone Guthrie Centre, residency, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan, Ireland.