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Friends find artistic flair

Going Out

ON SHOW An oil painting by Deena Kilroy Prenty, and a print by Bernie Harness (right).

New Westport exhibition shows work of two local artists

Ciara Moynihan

‘Finding Our Feet’, an exhibition of work by local artists Bernie Harness and Deena Kilroy Prenty will be opened by artist/printmaker Sinead Wall at The Gallery in The Clew Bay Hotel this Thursday, May 3 at 7.30pm. A variety of the duo’s work will be on show, from copperplate etchings and linocut prints to painting and mixed media.
Born and raised in Furnace, Newport, Deena Kilroy Prenty emigrated to the US in 1993. After spending 15 years in New York she returned home and settled in Carrowholly. “After years living away, it makes me appreciate even more the beauty we have all around us here in the West of Ireland. I try to capture some of this beautiful scenery in my landscape paintings both abstract and realism,” she says.
Deena’s favourite medium is oils, and she loves to use colour to capture mood. She discovered a love of printmaking last year, and copperplate prints of local landmarks, such as The Clock in Westport, the lighthouse on Clare Island, and Newport Church and seven arch bridge all feature.
Bernie Harness was born in Derby in the UK, but moved to Ballinrobe at six months of age. When she was 18 she moved to London, where she raised her family.
After 22 years away, she decided to move back to Ireland, settling in Westport.  Her artworks in the upcoming show include paintings (both oils and acrylics), collage and printing.
“I have loved painting and drawing since I can remember, but never really got a chance to develop my skills or to even discover if had any talent,” Bernie explains.  
That all changed, however, when she signed up for an art course. “I did a foundation art course in the Westport College of Further Education, and experimented with lots of new and exciting techniques – printing being my favorite – and I did work experience with a local artist, Jimmy Lawlor, which I found invaluable,” she says.
Bernie and Deena have been ‘on a journey’ discovering their skills, and both say it has been massively important to have each other as support, encouraging and critiquing one another’s work.
Since studying art together, they have become firm friends, and together they spent the last year continuing printmaking and experimenting in a host of different painting techniques and styles. Hence the name of their exhibition, ‘Finding Our Feet’.