Kiki Na Art
Mary Swanzy Necklace, 2019
Hand painted acrylic, photograph, resin
Dimensions 70 x 55 mm
Mary Swanzy (1882-1978) is a unique Irish artist. Her level of achievement, world travel and original thinking is unmatched in Irish art. Born in the late Victorian era, by her early twenties Swanzy had mastered the academic style of painting. She witnessed the birth of Modern art in Paris before the First World War and her work rapidly evolved through the different styles of the day, each of them interpreted and transformed by her in a highly personal way. Her work is unique in an Irish context with images that show her proto-feminism and critique of the colonial system. Best known for her Cubist and Futurist paintings, after 1914 she exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon des Indépendants and the Beaux Arts, alongside artists who are now household names. By 1946 she was included in exhibitions with Chagall, William Scott and Henry Moore but after this time her work fell into obscurity. This may in part have been due to her status as a female artist and indeed she was vocal on issues of gender, remarking, “If I had been born Henry instead of Mary my life would have been very different”.
Dublin born artist Ciarna Pham, who works under the name Kiki Na Art, is the creator of these unique pieces of handcrafted jewellery. The stunning one of a kind pieces are made for the individual and no two pieces are ever the same. To compliment the Desire exhibition at IMMA, Kiki Na Art has produced a collection of unique jewellery and wall pieces based on women artists in the museum collection.