Stacey White

Stacey White
16 August to 25 September, 2021
Studio Open for visits Wednesday 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm

Stacey White is a visual artist creating abstract works of unseen worlds. Originally from USA, she recently relocated to West Cork , Ireland, During her residency at Uillinn, Stacey will reinvestigate a project she first began thirty five years ago while living near the Coast of Northern California, where she created drawings and paintings based on phytoplankton and zooplankton. Captivated by their shimmering, mysterious undersea beauty Stacey was eager to learn more about them and incorporate their fragile beauty into her work. The natural world has always been a major source of inspiration, but as climate change rapidly becomes a more serious threat to our planet Stacey has found herself revisiting the plankton investigations.

Planktons are small microscopic organisms that play a vital role in our existence on this planet. They are not only the beginning of the food chain in every body of water but phytoplankton are part of a system that collects carbon dioxide from the atmosphere creating a carbon sequestration system which slows climate change. They also produce 50% of the oxygen on the planet via photosynthesis. Sadly, they are vulnerable to the increased temperature variations we are experiencing and are producing markedly less oxygen.

Her hope is to increase awareness of these fragile and essential organisms while fostering curiosity and a call to action to protect our miraculous yet vulnerable environment.

‘I plan to catch some local plankton from significant locations around West Cork and look at it under a microscope, making small studies from what I see. To be in close proximity to the sea opens up new possibilities. My current landscape offers a variety of flora which has been a constant source for my paintings and drawings. Knowing that a world just as varied and complex exists below the surface of the ocean is a driving force for this project. That plankton is so vital yet hidden is the crux of what thrills me about this direction.’

Becoming increasingly aware of her carbon footprint Stacey is also seeking to explore alternatives to her usual oil based paints such as inks, acrylic paint, watercolors and charcoal.

During her Residency Stacey will share images of plankton taken under the microscope inviting the public to share with her investigations and become better acquainted with plankton. Going beyond passive observation, the act of painting and drawing requires a deeper level of involvement. If restrictions allow, Uillinn hopes to host a discussion with Stacey and to have people come and draw and paint from images of plankton. Keep an eye out on our social media or email to get involved.

Stacey White Open Studio Event
Saturday 25 September 2021
11 am to 1pm at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Studio 3.
Free event. While pre booking is not necessary, for safety we ask visitors to register at reception on arrival. Masks are mandatory
All are welcome to visit Stacey White in her studio to meet the artist and discover more about her current work exploring the importance of planktons in our environment. This open studio is part one of a three part series where you can engage with this exciting programme of work that goes into next year and will include participatory engagement with Stacey's process and conclude with a performance at Uillinn in 2022
My artist residency over the past six weeks at Uillinn has been an exploration of microscopic imagery focusing on plankton, algae collected from every place I swim in the coastal waters of West Cork.
The paintings I created were small in size, just as plankton are, filling the wall in my studio to mirror their vastness in nature and to create the visual feeling of being immersed in water. Plankton comes from the Greek words “ wanderer, drifter”, as they move with the current. This influenced my seemingly random placements of small paintings so each piece is operating from a connection to a larger current.
Planktons importance to our environment cannot be understated. They are the base of the food chain and through photosynthesis play a large role in the oxygen cycle creating half of the world’s oxygen.


Biography: Stacey White, a Northern California artist, graduated in 1989 with a BA in Art from the University of California, Davis. Later she did advanced studies at UC Davis’s advanced painting summer program. Influenced by the natural world, historical botanical prints and raw textured surfaces; her paintings present a dialogue between abstraction, botanical and microscopic imagery and construction materials on wood panels. Following graduation she has participated in six solo shows and numerous group shows in Davis and Sacramento California. Her work is in many private collections.


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible

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