Brendon Deacy

MA, BA (Hons)

BA (Hons) Illustration Programme Leader
Brendon Deacy

Illustrating the human effects of culture, history and politics.

Brendon Deacy's illustrations, paintings, prints, drawings and photographs are inspired by the human effects of culture, history and politics, and have been exhibited in nineteen solo shows. His work is held in notable public and private collections in Australia, Europe, UK and USA.

He has received numerous awards, including Culture Ireland's Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme award, The Laois 2016 Community Commemoration award, a Thomas Dammann Trust Prize (2016) and two CAP Foundation awards (2006 and 1996). In 1999 he represented Ireland at the international print exhibition Linoleum in 20th Century Art in Amsterdam. He has published two critically acclaimed 'artist's books': The State We're Out which recounts his father's emigration experience from Ireland in 1951; and A Life in Relief which tells the remarkable story of Michael Davitt, one of the foremost Irish figures of the Nineteenth Century.

His commissioned work has dealt with art, commerce, education, TV and publishing in print, on screen and in the public realm; clients include RTÉ, TG4, The Irish Times, Independent News & Media and Laois County Council.

Since 1994 he has taught at NCAD and he has been a visiting tutor to the Royal College of Art, San Diego State University, Birmingham City University, Leeds Metropolitan University, Portlaoise Prison, The Midland Prison, Helsinki University, Lahti Polytechnic (Finland) and Anadolu University (Turkey).


Major Research Projects

Fitz & the 1st East-to-West Atlantic Flight (2017 – 2018)
His current research focuses on Colonel James Fitzmaurice, the Irish airman known as ‘Fitz’, who flew into aviation history by co-piloting the first aeroplane to successfully cross the Atlantic in a westerly direction in 1928. His research has been conducted with biographers and aeronautical experts at Bremen Airport (Germany) where the aircraft he flew is kept and at Baldonnel Aerodrome where the historic flight commenced. Fitz’s extraordinary life story will be illustrated through original artefacts, graphics and short films designed and curated for exhibition at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, 4 – 25 October 2018.

Click on the following link for more information:

Síoraí: Visualising the Words of James Fintan Lalor Today (2013 – 2016)
Exhibitions of paintings and prints at the Museum of Australian Democracy in Eureka, the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, and Birr Arts Festival with accompanying catalogue and 30-minute film about James Fintan Lalor (1807–49), patriot, land agitator and political activist. His writings exerted a seminal influence on later Irish nationalist leaders such as Michael Davitt, James Connolly, P.H. Pearse and those who drafted the Democratic Programme of the first Dáil in 1919. Lalor’s words were juxtaposed on canvas with depictions of present-day Ireland to emphasise his contemporary relevance, using oil paint mixed with debris from Tenakill House (where Lalor was born) to forge a metaphysical link between the work and the man.

Click on the following links to view two ninety second films about this project:  (Síoraí Irish show)  (Síoraí Australian show)

A Life in Relief (2003 – 2006)
Artist’s book and suite of sixty-five prints, inspired by the life of Michael Davitt, one of the foremost Irish figures of the Nineteenth Century and founder of ‘The Land League’, which toured extensively across Ireland and the UK.

The State We’re Out (1996 –1999)
Artist’s book and suite of fifty-three prints which recount the emigration of Brendon’s father from the West of Ireland in 1951 and his subsequent experiences, which were exhibited in many venues in Ireland, the UK and Europe with accompanying public lectures and workshops. Featured on Cúrsaí Ealaíne RTÉ 1 (TV) and The Arts Show, RTÉ Radio 1.

Nineteen solo exhibitions
Solo exhibiting highlights include the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (2016); Cork Public Museum (2009); The Custard Factory, Birmingham (2007); Kilmainham Gaol, The Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax and The Linenhall, Castlebar (all 2006); The Graphics Studio Gallery, Dublin (1998); and Keele University (1994).

Numerous group exhibitions
Highlights include Design v Art, The National Museum in Gdañsk, Poland (2015); Saibhreas, Damer House Gallery, Roscrea & the Dunamaise Arts Centre (2015); Kandinsky to Corneille, Linoleum in 20th Century Art, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Amstelveen, The Netherlands (1999); and A Focus on Drawing, Limerick City Gallery, Crawford Gallery & NCAD (2000 - 01).

Exhibitions with students
Komik & Kathode, touring numerous venues since 2016 (ongoing)
A collaborative exhibition of work between NCAD’s and UK Illustration Departments, academics, alumni and guests in homage to early to mid-Twentieth Century popular culture. Shown at Manchester Metropolitan University, Hereford College of Arts, Sussex Coast College, NCAD, Birmingham City University, Leeds Becket University and Sunderland University.

Ice Cream For Crow, Make.Liverpool, 13 & 14 November 2017
Year 2 NCAD Illustration students and Brendon contributed A1-sized black and white illustrations to this show (along with students from Liverpool, Manchester, Salford & Leeds) which celebrated Captain Beefheart’s legendary 1972 Bluecoat Gallery exhibition of monochrome paintings.

Publications & Conference Presentations

Design vs Art from an Irish Perspective (2015)
Presentation paper at Design vs Art International Exhibition and Conference at The National Museum in Gdańsk, Poland.

Síoraí (2014)
Catalogue/newspaper, researched and designed to accompany Brendon’s solo exhibition, with articles by Robert Ballagh, Mick Heaney, Ken Loach & others, 500 copies, tabloid newspaper format.

The Quick and the Dead: Does the Speed of Digital Signal the End of the Material Book? (2013)
Presentation/paper at the Resurrecting the Book International Conference, the Library of Birmingham.

Integrated Marketing & Communications (2008)
Presentation at the National Federation of Voluntary Bodies Conference at the City West Conference Centre, Dublin.

A Life in Relief (2006)
Limited edition ‘novel without words’ about Michael Davitt, with a foreword by John Hume (Nobel Peace Prize Winner), 60 copies, printed on letterpress at NCAD (nominated as one of the four best printed books in Ireland at the Irish Print Awards 2006).

A Life in Relief (2006)
Presentation paper at the Michael Davitt Centenary Conference, Dublin City University. 

The State We’re Out (1998)
Limited edition ‘novel without words’ about Irish emigration, with a foreword by Roddy Doyle, 52 copies, printed on letterpress at NCAD. 

Young Ireland Then & Now (1998)
Presentation at the Politics and the Pen Symposium at the Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise.

Fitz & the 1st East-to-West Atlantic Flight (2018)
An exhibition of graphics, artefacts, films and weekend of events to celebrate the life of Colonel James Fitzmaurice, the Irish airman who co-piloted the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic from east to west.
Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, 4 – 25 October 2018.

Unfettered Man of Letters (2016)
Shown as a visual focal point for the James Fintan Lalor Conference 2016, this exhibition of rare artefacts accompanied by graphics designed in response to them illustrated the pivotal influence which James Fintan Lalor had on the Easter Rising.
Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, 14 September – 7 October 2016.