Derval Dunford

My work explores internal biodiversity and climate change through visual art, breath, movement, language and interoception. The human being for me is an ecosystem, a reflection of the earth. This is interesting to explore at a time of great loss on earth.

Influenced by Moriartian ecology, the need to embrace ancient wisdom and simplicity feels essential to me, a move away from chaos and consumption is the only thing that makes sense. Using guided audio and ink images I gently encourage exploration both internally and externally. I hope to encourage a diffusion of reaction and destruction, and a restoration of response and creation. As a result my work aligns quite naturally with many of the U.N. Sustainable Developmental Goals.

I would be regarded as a pioneer in creative wellbeing in Ireland but my visual artwork practice only started in May 2021 around the time my brother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Steve was an artist and an author, I was fascinated with his exotic bottle of Indian ink when I was a child and he was a teen, but I wasn’t allowed to open it!

My first solo exhibition ‘Land and Language – Talamh agus Teanga’ an interactive audio-visual bilingual exploration is dedicated to Steve’s memory. It was the grief process that sparked, and fuelled my emergence as a visual artist. Land and Language is available to interact with online using the following link.

My mission and passion for creative wellbeing arose from personal mental, emotional, physical challenges and huge loss. A love of all things natural, and a deep desire to respond creatively and support others sustains me.

I was one of four artists commissioned to work on the first collaboration between Creative Ireland, Irish Hospice Foundation and the Health Service Executive in May 2022.