Thomas Counihan / Fine Art Painting BA(Hons)

It is our pasts that haunt our present.

Before I was born, before my parents met, there were crucial moments when they both could have lost their lives. My current practice is an attempt to conjure the ghosts of my past and explore an alternate history where my parents had premature deaths. In a world without them, its then me who becomes the ghost, suspended and commentating on phantoms.

The process and works themselves are the artefacts of an attempt to engage with these ghosts. They can be read as physical metaphors for everything that cannot be caught and as the physical manifestations that ghosts can possess, despite not having form. Through this exploration, themes of Irish and Dutch nationality, religion, love, identity, trauma and gender become key in allowing me to map out and process my practice.

Memory is finite and yet is a trapdoor into a bottomless past.


Person stuffing tissue into gap in door
‘Closed’ (2020)


‘Embalming’ (2020)


Black and white posterised images
‘Family Quilt’ (2020)


Man with bag over head dancing around candles
‘Jiminy Cricket’ (2020)


Naked person sat in front of black board
‘Open’ (2020).jpg