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Michael Greenlaw

AfH Headshot 2

Michael is originally from Scotland but now lives in West Cork. He is a graduate of Drawing and Painting from Edinburgh College of Art and and spent 40 years working as a community artist in Craigmillar, Edinburgh – facilitating and managing art projects and festivals. As an artist and campaigner, Michael has always advocated for social justice. He was the lead artist of Artists for Justice and Peace, painting over 200 topical murals in central Edinburgh over a 34 year period.

‘I strongly believe that I can help enable people to turn their creative ideas into reality. I believe simply, that anyone at all can make art and that making art is important, beneficial to the individual, and should be good fun. I enjoy making, constructing, painting and drawing things myself, using a variety of materials. I love West Cork – the landscape, the way of life, the stories and the kindness of the people.’

Michael has always drawn and painted in the landscape. Since moving to Ireland 6 years ago he has exhibited and sold paintings and drawings at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre. He has painted collaborative community murals with YMCA groups in Ballincollig, Cobh, and Cork City, and with young people from Skibbereen. In 2018 Michael undertook an Uillinn residency/commission with artist Charlotte Donovan for St. Patrick’s Day: The Parade Press. He has also created large temporary outdoor sculptures for the Leap Scarecrow Festival. He has facilitated arts for health groups at Macroom Community Hospital, Niche Community Health Project in Knocknaheeny, and at The Next Step in Cork City.

‘It starts with listening to people and basing the piece of work on what I have heard. Then I would use my artistic abilities to try and devise an interesting, beautiful or challenging art work, based on what people have told me. I would always encourage a “hands on” approach in creating the work, while trying to find the key to get everyone in the group to participate or contribute – in whatever way they can. I would like to think my work is person centred.’

Stool, 2024, a ‘found’ wooden fisherman’s stool, repaired, painted with acrylic and varnished.
Bell Tower, 2022, water colour on paper.
Billy Connolly, 2023, paper maché, timber, cardboard, and textiles, Leap Scarecrow Festival, collaboration with Charlotte Donovan and Isabel Donovan.