Image of Andy Parson’s profile banner
Andy Parsons

Andy is interested in finding ways to bring art into everyday life. His work as co-founder of Floating World Artists Books is centred on public engagement. Floating World has undertaken varied projects in community settings and its books are in major collections including Tate Modern.

Alongside this publishing and curatorial work he continues to make paintings, books, drawings, prints and sculpture. Since 2009 all of these have been done objectively, from life. In 2015 he made work that dramatized the difficulty of this methodology by using a drawing board raft to make large scale drawings whilst floating on Lough Gill.

In working with Kids’ Own on the Virtually There project Andy explored the idea of working directly from observation, with students creating closely observed self- portraits. These were displayed in a pop-up exhibition in the school alongside one of Andy’s large scale self-portraits.

In 2019, one of Andy’s self-portraits was a finalist in the prestigious Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize, and is being exhibited in London in the summer of 2019. This self-portrait follows directly from the work Andy did on Kids’ Own’s Virtually There project. Andy says:

“The self portrait is much smaller than the 12 foot high piece I created for Virtually There, but it follows exactly the same logic; of trying to represent myself and in an honest way. The process of using self portraiture to explore challenging themes is something that I have been involved with throughout my career and will continue for the foreseeable future. Ageing adds new layers of meaning. The self portrait I am showing at the Ruth Borchard Prize in London depicts me dancing alone to Northern Soul in my studio. In the painting I try to capture my absorption in the music, and also to not shy away from the awkwardness of a man of advancing years dancing on his own in the middle of the day”.

Andy is currently undertaking a year long Artist in Residency for The Model, Home of The Niland Collection at Sligo University Hospital. As part of this residency Andy is working on the wards with patients, as well as developing a body of drawings, paintings and sculptures which will be exhibited next year. The residency is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.

In 2017 Andy started working with The Metal Mariners boat building project in Sligo, recording their work building and restoring boats. This ongoing project has developed into a significant body of work, including over a hundred drawings as well as large scale paintings and sculptures.

In August 2018 Andy staged the exhibition ‘Raft’ at the A.P.T Gallery in London. Recent group exhibitions include NCAD Gallery, F.E. McWilliam Gallery, The Model Sligo and the A.P.T Gallery in London.

Andy has published silk screen prints with Advanced Graphics London and has works in public and private collections.

In 2017 Andy was the recipient of a major award by the Pollock Krasner Foundation in the U.S. aimed at developing and sustaining his practice as an artist.