Animal Architecture for early years

Planning and prepping for another early years workshop in The Ark, Temple Bar. This time I'm focusing on design and nature as the base of all design. The focus is on animal architecture. There will be interactive spaces like nests, caves, cocoons and webs where participants interact and contribute to the space as well as creating their own 'take-home' pieces. Narrative plays an important part in the workshop and will guide participants in beginning their own designs.

Here's more info on it at ark.ie

Images borrowed from Animal Architecture by Ingo Arndt


My Paints Can Talk!

I'm leading more workshops in The Ark over the next few weeks as part of their summer program 'Colour'. This time I'm working with 2-4 year olds. We're playing with paint and focusing on the characteristics of colour through an animated narrative in which my paintbrushes come to life. More info here.


Upcoming workshops

I'm back into teaching and have some interesting workshops for children coming up... Inventing Quirky Characters Workshop (30 Mar - 31 Mar 2015) in The Ark in Dublin and Creative Reuse Workshops in schools with Recreate Ireland.

Image via ark.ie


Modern Day Nomad

Ready for the next phase in my life as a modern day nomad! Homeward bound on Saturday. After a year and a half in San Francisco and nearly four years in Zurich, Emmet and I have packed and are ready for life in Ireland again - this time with baby under our wing! Stretching those old roots deep down this time. 


Reflections on The Big Round

Doing a lot of preparation and reflection before baby arrives sometime soon. Found this piece I painted maybe ten years ago as I was looking back on my artwork. And so it makes a reappearance alongside John O'Donohues words of wisdom.


Showing my work at Inclusions Gallery in San Francisco

I'm exhibiting some recent work at Inclusions Gallery in San Francisco. It is a group show of artists who live and make art in Bernal Heights. It opens on October 19th - November 17th.

'Center' and 'Release' - Mixed media drawings by Paula Henihan, 2013


I am from...

I am from the sticky treetops 
that border the garden.  
I am from giant lego santas 
and chocolate biscuit cake.

I’m from raincoats, knitted jumpers, 
and hand-me-down threads. 
I'm from obstacle courses, 
and cozy shared beds.
I'm from ponytails, swimsuits, 
and my first watch from Gran.   
I’m from soup and brown bread to croquettes and ham. 

I'm from wobbly stone walls and the freedom of fields.  
From wet windy cycles and welcome freewheels. 

I’m from blueprints of father to doodles of nephew.
From camp trips and journeys squashed in the car. 

I’m from “always be yourself” to “because that's the why"  
and talking through walls and the odd white lie. 

I’m from Grace, Maeve, John, Orla, Bridie and Mam. 
I’m from Emmet-the-man with the easygoing plan. 

I’m from paper and pencils, from scissors and glue. 
I’m from past, from present... and from future too. 

Two drawings of home I made in 1985 and 2010
Poem structure inspired by Lois Fein... thanks Lois. 


Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin

Moving into my new home in San Francisco next week sometime. Not quite like the old man in the pixar animation Up but not too far off. What I think of as 'home' is still in transit in a container possibly somewhere in the panama canal. I've just had a head start on getting transplanted into a new life, and a new environment. The home part comes when I am reunited with my collections; the important little personal mementos given to me by others, objects of decoration and hobby tools I consciously choose to collect, keep and take care of over the years...the physical lego bricks that mould my values, my personal taste and my interests.


Everything but the kitchen sink...

My move so far has been a mix of smooth sailing and a roller-coaster of emotion...and so while my little box of possessions sails gently to foreign lands, I anxiously look toward the future while reflecting nostalgically on the past four years.

Here I am : a moving, thinking, feeling creature with a box of belongings and a ticket to the next part of life.