GABY BROWETT – painter, illustrator & designer

CATHY DILLON – writer and artist


Alison Hackett was born in Cork in 1961.  From the age of eleven she was sent to board in Glengara Park School in Dublin. Her education continued in Trinity College Dublin from which she graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Economics in 1982 and a Higher Diploma in Education (teaching) the following year.  During the summer of 1981 she worked as student research assistant to Patrick Honohan (former Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland) assisting with econometric analysis of the national statistics.

Alison Hackett. photo by

She is the founder of the publishing house 21st Century Renaissance bringing to her work the belief that the right blend of design and writing can influence change and raise debate across a wide section of society. Her focus is on high quality print publications created and produced in Ireland.

For almost thirteen years she worked as the Institute of Physics representative in Ireland.  During that time she conceived of the idea for The Visual Time Traveller which she authored, curated and launched in 2013 with an exhibition on 6th December at the RHA Gallery.  It was designed by Origin Design, and printed and bound in the Netherlands by MM Artbook with an open spine – a distinctive feature of this highly original work.


Alison presented the inaugural lecture on The Visual Time Traveller at the RDS at the opening of their library exhibition on 2nd April 2014.  The Visual Time Traveller was selected by an international jury for the Global Irish Design Challenge exhibitions of 2016 (Dublin Castle) and 2017 (National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny).

The Visual Time Traveller exhibition and talk has toured widely in Ireland including venues at Dublin Castle, University Hospital Waterford, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the Royal Hibernian Academy and Garter Lane Arts Centre  find out more….

In August 2012, Alison was shortlisted in The Next Myles competition in The Irish Times with a piece called Typos.  More than a hundred of her letters commenting on a diverse range of political, educational and social matters have been published in the Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Times, Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph and Financial Times and have been published by 21CR in a volume called Yours etc Letters printed in Irish and British papers 2010 – 2017  (21st Century Renaissance) in December 2017.


She writes an occasional blog and published a debut volume of poetry Crabbing (21st Century Renaissance) – a memoir of love and loss.

Alison will present The Visual Time Traveller in Mystic Noank Library in Connecticut in the Autumn of 2019 — her American debut. She has signed an American poet to be published by 21st Century Renaissance in the Autumn/Winter or 2019.


​She lives in Dún Laoghaire close to the sea, but not quite as close as her first home in Currabinny on the south coast of Ireland.  ​


Read more about The Visual Time Traveller

Read more about 21st Century Renaissance

JOYCE DUFFY | The Politics of Power

NATHALIE CARNEC – design colour, weaving textile


Shabnam Vasisht

An Indian-born designer, visual artist and author, Shabnam sees colour as her cultural inheritance and expresses emotion through it.


She often uses the medium of her trade as dress-designer to create two-dimensional images and soft sculptures. This manipulation of waste textiles sometimes extends to other throwaway products, combining diverse textures and colours by layering, intertwining or juxta positioning into a composite mixed-media whole.



Shabnam has lived in Ireland for over forty five years and held several solo exhibitions in Ireland and abroad – one of which was covered by RTE’s Arts Programme, ‘Cursai’.   She has demonstrated her art practice in the Arts Centre, Dept. of Culture and Information, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Her pastel images were on permanent display in Jury’s Hotel & Towers, Ballsbridge, until the hotel’s closure. In September 2018 Shabnam collaborated with Irish journalist, Cathy Dillon, who responded to her images with prose poems that explored their two cultures.

Commissions have included the Grenadier Regiment (Indian Army), Belfast City Council, RTE, UN Women and Irish Mensa. In 2015, she was on a panel that curated an exhibition of the Irish State’s Art Collection (in association with the Office of Public Works) in the Municipal Gallery, Lexicon, Dun Laoghaire.

Shabnam has been a member of DLRC Artists Network since its inception and is a Professional Member of Visual Artists Ireland. She has also written six books, the last book, of local history interest, was funded by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

‘Brittas Bay’




MARY O’CONNOR – painter and printmaker

Mary O’Connor painter and printmaker discusses her work inspiration and shows where she carries out her practice My practice is painting, screen-printing and painting large-scale wall murals.  I work from my studio at home and on construction sites, I am a member of the Blackchurch Print Studio, that’s where I do my printing. My non-representational […]


Phil Lynch started writing poetry as a teenager and in the years following was involved in readings (including what became known as the Tara Telephone poetry readings) and the organization of poetry and music events. He also had work published and broadcast in those early years. He maintained an interest in writing and performing while getting on with the rest of his life, including several years living outside of Ireland, but it was a fairly sporadic involvement.


On returning to Dublin in late 2009 he cranked up the intensity of his writing activity and began performing his poetry at events and festivals around Ireland. Since then, he has had work published in a range of literary journals and anthologies. His first full poetry collection, In a Changing Light, (Salmon Poetry), was published in 2016.


Phil’s poetry has been featured on national and local radio in Ireland including on programmes such as the Arena Arts Show, The Poetry Programme, Sunday Miscellany and The Documentary on One. He has been shortlisted in a number of poetry competitions and was a runner-up in the iYeats Poetry Competition in 2014.

In 2018 he was the winner of the Intercompetitive Poetry Competition, a performance event of several rounds in which competitors to progress to the next stage were selected by means of a secret audience ballot on each occasion.


As well as performing at numerous poetry/spoken word events and festivals in Ireland (including Electric Picnic Festival, Bray Literary Festival, Cuirt International Literary Festival (Spoken Word Platform), Dublin Book Festival, St. Patrick’s Festival, Ennistymon Book Festival, Red Line Book Festival, First Fortnight Festival), Phil has performed at events in London, Brussels, Paris, New York and Washington DC. Phil was a co-founder and member of the organising committee of LINGO, the first international spoken word festival in Ireland, and is a member of Dalkey Writers Workshop.


Explore more:

Balcony TV video: If St. Patrick could see us now

 Live performance: In a Changing Light

Listen to Phil on Spotify: My Wife Thinks I’m at a Poetry Reading


Changing Light


It was nearly dark
when he came in from the fields
tired from the toils of the day
ready to complain
about the Tilley lamp still unlit,
would he have to light it himself
he asked of no one in particular.
In the shadow of an empty space
beneath the stairs
I stood primed.


The men with the metal boots,
their belts heavy as a gunslinger’s,
had spent what seemed like years
digging holes to plant the creosote forest
that stretched across the countryside,
with giant spools of wire unfurled
along roads and lanes and fields.
I marvelled at how they scaled
the heights of those black poles
and worked at right angles to the ground
without falling,
stuntmen all.


In the countdown to dusk I waited
finger on the switch
as if to take its pulse
or like some general in the Kremlin
with his thumb on the red button
waiting for the order to push.
The pre-determined signal came
from my mother at the table
and with all the strength  
in my bony digit
I flicked the magic switch.


Outside, the dusk turned instantly to dark.
Inside, the light would never be the same.
©Phil Lynch


Artists in their Studios: MYRA JAGO