Roisin and Aislinn Duggan are identical twins from Owning, near Piltown in Co Kilkenny. Although they both studied and graduated as geneticists in 2020 and worked in labs, life has now taken them in a refocused direction.
What has been a seminal moment for you?
We both always loved art and kept it going outside of college and later outside of our work in science but only as a hobby, exhibiting and selling paintings locally.
However, last year we both became very ill with anorexia and had to take a step back from work. This caused us to re-evaluate life and our future.
So after getting something of a second chance in life we decided to pursue what we naturally loved rather than working simply for money.
Is place important for your work?
Yes the countryside and Ireland are a huge part of our inspiration and we are very attached to our local area. We were both away in Dublin for four years during college and having returned we appreciate it more than ever.
What training did you complete?
We actually have no formal training in art, we studied art for the Leaving Cert and had a very good teacher but we pretty much learned art on the job and developed our own styles.
Describe your work
Beautiful things usually; nature, trees, cows, horses, magical and mythical scenes. Our work is a collection of paintings capturing the beauty of nature as inspired by the Irish countryside and the animals we share this planet with. It also has magical undertones and Celtic influences.
What is your medium and process?
Mainly acrylic paint and canvas but also watercolour. Usually it starts with an idea, these strike you out of the blue most often while out walking in nature.
First is sketching out the idea, thinking it over, sketching it again, collecting pictures of detail for different parts of the image, faces, flowers, textures, patterns and then sketching those. The next step is picking a canvas the right size for what you envisage, doing base coats of roughly coloured shapes and then the rest just flows.
What is your inspiration?
What differentiates you from your contemporaries?
Very little of our work is based around still life or landscapes, it is very much focused on the subject of the painting. We believe you can never have too much colour and everything can be improved by adding spirals.
What is your unique selling point?
Well there are two of us I suppose!
What is next with your art work?
At the moment we are hoping to expand our audience as it has up until this point been largely local customers. We are also in the process of renovating an old shed to be a more permanent studio to work in.
Do you do commissions?
Yes, we take every kind of commission from engravings, murals, maps, family trees, Celtic goddesses, etc. Most common are pet portraits though, very common as gifts!
The Tudor Artisan Hub in Carrick-on-Suir [Co Tipperary] is where we exhibit most of our work. It is an absolute gem for local crafts and artisan producers in the south east. At the moment all our work is accessible online until things can reopen.
What are your thoughts on social media?
For now, it is vital as it is our only channel to show our work.
Aislinn and Roisin Duggan can be contacted on Facebook and Instagram (aislinnandroisindugganart). Prices for commissioned pieces range from €60-€300 depending on size, subject and timeframe. Cards and prints range from €3-€15