County Longford has earned itself an esteemed reputation, over the years, in the art and literary circles of this country. With authors like the great Oliver Goldsmith and Pauric Colum to the fore alongside artists Pat Hourican and Bernard Canavan - who incidentally appear to be gaining international acclaim in their respective fields all the time - it is not surprising that such creative influence has captured the hearts of a number of this county’s young aspiring minds.
One such artist is Ballymahon native, Lorraine Masters who was awarded a top accolade for her art work at the University of Limerick, after she became the proud recipient of the Limerick Art Society Award for Excellence Shown, following her graduation with a BA Art & Fine Painting from the esteemed third level institute.
The 22-year-old former student of Ballymahon’s Convent of Mercy and daughter of Valerie and Matthew Masters, is currently specialising in Body Image art, and has already caught the eye of experts in the field, because of her unique and creative approach to the subject matter.
Ms Masters, who is currently running her own studio in Limerick with other art graduates of the local university, also designed the cover to Edgeworthstwon author, Lorne Patterson’s début novel – The Witch – which was published to much fanfare last year..
“Art was always something that I had an interest in, and as I got older I felt that I wanted to pursue it as a career,” the talented local woman told the Leader.
“I was very influenced by my art teacher, Rachael Ryan when I was a student at the Convent in Ballymahon, and then when I went on to Limerick, I became a member of the art society, which also gave me great inspiration. My parents have also provided me with a lot of support and incouragement along the way.”
The award which Ms Masters received in Limerick is a prestigious accolade, and one which is only handed out to those with immeasurable talent in their chosen field. “It was an honour to receive the Limerick Art Society Award for Excellence Shown, it really was,” she happily explained. “It is an award that recognises hard work and dedication, and I really love what I do. At the moment, I have my own studio, here in Limerick, and currently, the work I am doing centres around the whole area of ‘Body Image’. My aim is to highlight – through this work – the way in which people feel about themselves and how they see themselves. I held a number of shows before Christmas, and I certainly hope that I will be in a position to exhibit my work in Longford some day. It is all starting to come together for me now and that is very exciting for me.”
So, with a bright and creative future ahead, where too form here, for Ballymahon’s Lorraine Masters?
“I plan to work hard, keep practising my art and hold more shows in the future,” she beamed.
“I also want to travel and really perfect my skills. I suppose at the moment, I am in the early stages of developing my art, but when I advance, I very much hope to hold an exhibition in my home county.”