In 2011 Blaise Smith’s proposal to go back to school in Carlow and paint it won a Per cent for Art Commission in Presentation College, Carlow. He spent a year painting 20 paintings of the staff and students and their classrooms and corridors. The aim of the paintings was to portray the Irish Education system of today. Presentation College is the specific subject but the idea is to show what school is about in 2012 in Ireland, a place where nearly a fifth of the population spend their days. Imagine, if you will, that a school had commissioned an artist in 1920 to paint a series of paintings of the buildings, students and staff at the time. This would be a remarkable social document to have today, and even more remarkable in another hundred years. Smith sees himself as a documentary painter, and he enjoys showing communities linked by a shared goal.
The paintings were exhibited in Visual in Carlow followed by the Crawford Museum in Cork. The Home Economics Room was shown in the BP portrait Award in 2013 and the project won a Business to arts Award in 2012. The twenty paintings are currently hanging in the school.
©BLAISE SMITH 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED