Ciarán McCoy is an award winning architect. He borrows from his architectural knowledge to create his diverse art work as his alter ego “Pigsy”.
Born on the North Side of Dublin, Pigsy attended all Irish speaking primary and secondary schools in the city. Challenges were posed in his school life due to the fact that he is dyslexic and so he was enrolled in additional classes after school in the evenings for the majority of his academic life, to learn techniques to deal with dyslexia. It was at these schools that Pigsy began to express himself in a creative way. While waiting in the hallways, before class began, he started to draw with chalk on the blackboards to vent his frustration at being singled out to do extra schooling.
The mediums that Pigsy now uses range vastly from everyday household acrylic paint, chalk, oil sticks, acrylic sticks, oil paint, spray paint, charcoal and any other medium that feels right at the time of painting. McCoy explains “I like the looseness of my paintings I don't really want to put boundaries on myself or to be neat and proper. That's my architectural life. I like to be able to express myself freely in a fast free-flowing loose way - I really like the imperfection of the process”.
"Many of my paintings are self portraits or semi-biographical, I paint about the things going on in my head at the time of painting. People have said to me that the paintings are angry but I don't think they're angry, I'm just expressing the frustrations of someone who lives with dyslexia. Words frustrate me and fascinate me at the same time. I sometimes don't understand the sounds of the letters, what they mean and why they don't do what they are supposed to do. Because of this I like to draw quick and loose as opposed to when I’m designing a building and it needs to be more rigid and consistent. I've also taken from street artists who have to paint fast. I think if you're drawing fast there's an honesty to it because there is no manipulation and overthinking, it's just straight from your head onto the canvas. I love the no phoney approach to that".
This spontaneous approach takes away all inhibitions. "I deliberately don’t correct words that have been misspelled and I sometimes break them apart to emphasize what can be going on in my head”. He also splashes and spills paint loosely over the canvas which keeps the honest approach "for a long time I covered up the writing completely, so as to not expose myself too much to the outside world but as I got older I've stopped doing that. I'm happy where my art is, at the moment, and I feel that it's totally me. It's a take it or leave it approach, I have now."
“Art is a way of expressing myself and it’s a nice break from the normal day-to-day work routine of an architect. The creative process between art and architecture are very different disciplines. With architecture I have specific briefs and goals that I aim to achieve. With art there are no boundaries, I just express what's in my mind at the time that I am working, and in all honesty, I'm trying to get the thoughts out of my mind and on to the canvas. I see it as a healthy process. Work and life can be stressful at times and I find going to my studio and throwing a large piece of canvas on the ground and painting helps me release all those stresses in a creative and positive way”.