MexIndex - free database of experimental visual arts and image works by  Irish artists

Artist Biography

Cecily Brennan

Having studied at NCAD, Cecily Brennan started out as a landscape painter in the 1980s, then moved to sculpture, mostly in stainless steel, in the 1990s; her work now includes video and sound. Brennan’s work, which over the years has included egg tempera paintings, watercolours, and black and white drawings, has been exhibited nationally and internationally at events in Europe and the United States.

A founder member of Dublin’s Visual Arts Centre in 1979, Brennan was director of the Project Art Centre from 1983 to 1986. In 1991 she was elected to Aosdána ( and headed the Visual Arts Committee from 1993 to 1997.

Brennan’s work, The Devil’s Pool: Madness, Melancholia and the Artist, which is included in the MExIndex, explores the belief that there is a connection between madness and artistic creativity. The film combines a dramatised section with interviews with artists, researchers and academics. The interviewed speakers are Dr Simon Kyaga, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; Professor Patricia Waugh, Durham University, the playwright Frank McGuinness; and the poet Paul Muldoon. Funded by the Arts Council Reel Art Fund, this video work was screened at Melancholia, an interdisciplinary seminar organized by the UCD Humanities Institute in 2014.