Butler Gallery Exhibition, 2015
Butler Gallery Exhibition, 2015

          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 via this site or at gypsyray@eircom.net

I am currently working on drawings in the studio which are based on semi-blind contour drawings of people. The most recent are an exploration of the “labeling” of individuals by society by what they work at and how through that labeling one is confined to a  specific category which may deny multifacited talents or interests.  This is achieved through “Janus” (two headed) portraits of individuals.

SaturioAlonso.49X46cm.GypsyRay, 2016

I continue to use fine art photography in my studio practice.  Most recently expanding a series of Holga Images which are concerned with “place”.

In 2015 the exhibition based on the “Townlands” series was exhibited at the Old Market Arts Centre in Dungarvan, County Waterford and a solo exhibition photographic work selected by the Director of the Butler Gallery, Anna O’Sullivan was on exhibit at the gallery from 2nd May until the 21 of June, 2015. Two images from this exhibition have been added to the David Kronn Collection which is housed at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.  Two other photographs have been added to the Butler Gallery Permanent Collection, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Swimming Hole, traditional photographic print, 2014 copy 2

Butler Gallery Exhibit 2015

Exhibition of Photographs

1983 until 2015

Currated by Anna O’Sullivan, Director of the Butler Gallery

Butler Gallery, the Parade, Kilkenny, Ireland

Brothers, 2010 Silver Gelatin Photograph
Brothers, 2010
Silver Gelatin Photograph

Photographs, 1983-2014 – Gypsy Ray

Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, butlergallery.com


(go to program 50/interview at 17:50 minutes)



Artist, photographer and teacher Gypsy Ray was born in Illinois, and has worked extensively in the US. She has also spent time in Ireland from the 1980s and, since 2000, has lived in rural Co Kilkenny. In an era of digital technology, when photographic images have never been so easy, numerous and throwaway, Ray’s work is something of a corrective, making a case for the considered image, whether achieved with a camera or through drawing.

Ray’s black-and-white portrait photographs are exceptional for her evident empathy. Simply put, she responds incredibly warmly to people. Her subjects include many individuals you might or might not recognise, artists and writers such as Adrienne Rich, Dervla Murphy, William Rubel, Alan Counihan and Patrick O’Connor. There are also people we are unlikely to know at all but quickly feel that we do. Ray gives her subjects a chance to be themselves, and generally they respond well to that, be they children, young students at San Francisco Middle School or workers in the midst of their labour.

The all-plastic Holga box camera was launched in the early 1980s. Its limitations – including blurred edges and uneven lighting effects – have endeared it to many photographers, including Ray. She employs it for landscapes. Some are included in the show and gathered in the publication The Poetry of Place, with a text by Butler director Anna O’Sullivan. The photographs are dreamy, muted and as O’Sullivan observes mostly offer us “passageways into nature”. Metaphorically rich, they offer us a series of thresholds, leaving us poised on the edge. The edge of what? Of the realm of the unconscious, perhaps; the unknown, the infinite. Until June 21st, butlergallery.com

Tue, Jun 9, 2015, 04:00

First published: Tue, Jun 9, 2015, 04:00

Aiden Dunne, Art Critic for the Irish Times Newspaper

Inside Out Project

Inside Out Global KCAT Project

Gypsy Ray, and Lorna Corrigan in front of the photographs for the InsideOut Global Project to be launched in Callan, Co. Kilkenny on 11, December, 2014, at around 2pm

lorna and I


The Inside Out Global Photographic Project is a worldwide photographic project based in New York City and founded by French artist JR. On March 2, 2011, JR won the TED prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and called for the creation of a global participatory art project with the potential to change the world. This project is called INSIDE OUT. Inspired by JR’s large‐format street “pastings”, INSIDE OUT gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for. It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

Each INSIDE OUT group action around the world is documented, archived and exhibited online. Nearly 200,000 people from more than 112 countries & territories have participated transforming messages of personal and political identity into works of art. The Inside Out Project has recently assisted the presentation of photographic projects in Kenya, Portugal, Scotland, New York City and Mexico.

Now the Inside Out Global Photographic Project is about to arrive in Callan, Co. Kilkenny! Artist Gypsy Ray’s portraits of the 14 studio artists at KCAT Art and Study Centre were produced as part of the Inside Out Projects. She has teamed up with the KCAT artists, staff and others at the Kilkenny Collective for Arts Talent and along with the broader community of Callan will be displaying these larger than life size portraits on the 11th of December. They will be shown first outside the Art Centre’s building on Mill Lane in Callan and then in various windows along Bridge Street in the town.

The title for these images is: “WE ARE! We are ARTISTS. No other labels please.” It addresses the issue that artists who also have special needs are always labeled as ‘special’ rather than simply as the artists they are. The artists here portrayed are dedicated practitioners whose work deserves no special status, just the same careful and critical attention afforded to any other work of art.


KCAT Artist Portraits copy







( Three drawings from the Townlands Series of work, each 67-56/58cm)


Born: Kewanee, Illinois, USA

Home: Johnswell, Co Kilkenny, Ireland.

Recent or Upcoming (2015-2012)

2016 RHA annual juried exhibition, photograph, Dublin, Ireland

2016 Eigse annual juried exhibition, drawing, VISUAL Arts Centre, Carlow, Ireland

2015  Two photographs added to the David Kronn Collection at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland

2015 Two photographs added to the Butler Gallery Collection, The Castle, Kilkenny City, Ireland.

2015  Solo Exhibition of photographs, curated by Butler Gallery Director Anna O’Sullivan,  Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny City, Ireland

2015  Awarded Tyrone Guthrie Bursary by Kilkenny County Council Arts Office

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

2015    Portraits of the 14 Studio KCAT Artists for “We Are…..” in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland for InsideOut Global Project, New York

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.


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.


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

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


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

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


2011     Residency, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, 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.

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.