Meet the Maker. Lorna Watkins – Heartfelt.

Not quite our usual Meet the Maker but this time a feature about Lorna Watkins and her new upcoming exhibition.

Later this month, Sligo-based artist Lorna Watkins will open a new exhibition of work at the Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo. Running in conjunction with the Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, the exhibition will be opened by musician and artist Steve Wickham on Tuesday June 26th at 5.30pm. All are most welcome.

Lorna Watkins is an Irish artist living and working in Sligo, on the North West coast of Ireland.  Heartfelt, a new solo show, opens at the Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo, on June 26th. This is Watkins first solo show in her adopted hometown and takes place during this year’s Cairde Sligo Arts Festival.

Watkins graduated in Printed Textile Design from the National College of Art in Dublin after studying at the Grennan Mill Craft School and Edinburgh College of Art.

Lorna Watkins 2018

Commenting on the occasion of the new exhibition, Watkins said: “Loose and experimental mark-making have made their way from drawings into my recent paintings.  Imbued with painterly layers upon layers of bright vivacious colours and marks, the work is fresh and really full of energy.”

Using her home and local rugged and wild environment in North Sligo as much of the source for her inspiration, “Buds form; hard little teeny precious marks, undulations, natures curves”, these marks appear in her energetic large scale paintings.

After working briefly in fashion design, Lorna established an award-winning handmade soap company which she ran successfully for 7 years selling across the US, UK and Ireland.  “I was brought up in a family of entrepreneurs, my Dad had his own shop in Dublin city centre for 25 years and I was working with him from an early age.”

Lorna Watkins 2018

Painting and drawing made their way back into her life as Lorna began to attend life drawing sessions at The Model, Sligo and has continued to do so for years now.  “It’s like oxygen, if I miss a Friday, I forget how to breathe.”

Watkins was recently selected for the 188th Open Exhibition at the RHA, Dublin and has been awarded residencies in Cill Rialaig, Ballinskelligs and the Thomas Damann Junior Travel Bursary.

She is currently represented by The Doorway Gallery in Dublin and her work will be showing at the Hampstead AAF, London, in May.  Her work is held in private collections all over the world.

Heartfelt will open at the Hyde Bridge Gallery on Tuesday 26th June at 5.30pm, with special guest Steve Wickham. For further information see

Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo
June 26th – July 16th 2018
Opens June 26th, 5.30pm
Gallery Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:30am to 5pm

Sligo Hub