Dave Grant

Dave is originally from southwest London. Born to Irish parents, he settled in Co Kilkenny twenty years ago. It was thirty-five years after leaving school that Dave picked up a pencil and paintbrush again. This was down to Dave gaining a place on a higher education art, craft, and design course through VTOS Waterford. For Dave, this became a stepping-stone into further third level education. Dave went on to complete a four-year BA (Hons) degree in Visual Arts at the Southeast Technological University as a mature student. Dave started his degree course producing paintings of traditional landscapes and still life. Dave then progressed into producing sculptures after being introduced to the workshop at SETU. Here Dave was shown how he could incorporate welding metal rods, which was a perfect medium for building frames and 3D sculptures, into his artwork. The sculptures that Dave went on to produce were also his first attempt in the abstract style. In addition to his success in third level education, Dave’s paintings have also been published twice in the literary journal ‘The waxed Lemon.’ and also achieved first place in the adult painting section in the 2019 Iverk show Piltown.

This was my final year project at college and has taken its starting point from my lifelong interest in our environment and how humans contribute to the increasing crisis that is unfolding before us. Having grown up in the mega city of London and now living in rural Ireland, my interests in the use and abuse of our environment cannot be underestimated, from the disappearance of many of our native species to the increasing pollution of our rural town lands through urban sprawl and mismanagement of farmland.


My work has developed from an interest in traditional fine arts materials. I started this project exploring different methods of working, with the final work taking on the form of welded steel and found materials in an attempt to make visual the current discourse around our role in the decline of our lived spaces. The sculpture represents my research into microscopic forms and how these often unseen and unconsidered plastic pollutants (Nurdles) have become an everyday deluge within both our daily lives and most concerningly within our very DNA.


Nurdles or pre-production plastics are tiny pellets that are shipped round the world, 230,000 tonnes are spilled into the oceans every year to be washed up on pristine beaches in every corner of the world. One of the main dangers with these micro-plastics is the fact they tend to soak up other pollutants around them so become extremally poisonous. They are then eaten by animals mistaken for food thus enter the food chain, disturbing facts these nurdles have been found in the deepest location on earth the Mariana Trench, and the highest Mt. Everest and even in human blood, food for thought.

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