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Category: Exhibited Work

Exhibited artwork and illustration by Jennifer Farley



I was a finalist in the Fire illustration competition based on the theme of Revolution. My concept of Revolution

  1. Turn off your computer/tablet/phone go outside.
  2. Don’t tell anyone where you are.
  3. Take a picture, just for you, no one else.





Damn Fine Dublin – Nice Day For A Cycle

“Damn Fine Dublin”, an exhibition of 30 screen printed pieces of work by Irish artists and illustrators. The screen-printing was done by the wonderful people at Damn Fine Print. Signed limited editions of each print were available on the night. Thank you to Kim, Alex, Eric and Maisie.

I was thrilled to be one of the illustrators involved and created this picture called “A nice day for a cycle” featuring the well known Dublin landmark of the two chimneys known as the pigeon house.

Damn Fine Dublin illustrated by Jennifer Farley
Damn Fine Dublin illustrated by Jennifer Farley

Portrait of Illustrator Fintan Taite

This is a portrait I made of my fellow illustrator Fintan Taite. The portrait was created for the exhibition called “The State of Us”. 90 designers and illustrators were invited to create portraits. Each artist or designer received a photograph and a small piece of text about their subject. From there they made a portrait at A1 size. The collection was hung for one night only, at The Chocolate Factory Dublin.

Fintan Taite Portrait by Jennifer Farley
Fintan Taite Portrait by Jennifer Farley

The Illustrated Beatles: Mr Kite

The Illustrated Beatles is an exhibition by Forty illustrators, who are members of Illustrators Ireland. Each illustrator has created a piece based on a different Beatles song. I’m really delighted to have been involved with the exhibition and my illustration is based on the song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” which appears on Sgt Pepper.


I had never heard the song before – I really only know their most famous hits – but a little bit of research revealed that John Lennon was inspired to write the song by a 19th-century circus poster for Pablo Fanque’s Circus Royal, that he purchased in an antique shop on 31 January 1967. Lennon said that “Everything from the song is from that poster, except the horse wasn’t called Henry”. (The poster identifies the horse as “Zanthus”.) Mr. Kite is believed to be William Kite, who worked for Pablo Fanque from 1843 to 1845. Here’s a picture of John Lennon with the poster.

John Lennon - mr kite

Image via The Flaming Pie Cafe

Here’s a brilliant short film made about the poster:

A short film following the recreation of the Pablo Fanque circus poster that inspired John Lennon to write ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite’ for the Beatles album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. Using the traditional methods of wood engraving and letterpress printing, Peter Dean and his team of experts bring to life Lennon’s poster.

A Film By Nick Esdaile & Joe Fellows http://www.makeproductions.co.uk/

So based on the song lyrics and the original inspiration for the song, my illustration has an old circus feel. I’ve always loved early 20th Century poster design and wanted to have this look and feel with some hand drawn text and an image of Mr. Kite flying through the air. This was my initial sketch and idea:

Mr Kite Sketch by Jennifer Farley

The circus band in this idea were the Beatles but I wasn’t mad about how it looked with them stuck in each corner so I changed it so the main focus is Mr. Kite high, high, high in the air above the ring with a Sgt. Pepperesque band down below. I added some hand drawn text “There will be a show tonight” which appears in the lyrics.

Mr Kite - Hand drawn Type by Jennifer Farley

As always, I brought the sketches into Adobe Illustrator, drew everything as a vector, then finished up with loads of textures and scribbles in Photoshop. And this is my final piece.

Mythical Beasts

This is a series of illustrations I created for two different exhibitions at the United Arts Club in Dublin. The first exhibition was called Mythical Beasts. The illustrations include paintings from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The museum generously provides many of its images online in the public domain and actively encourages people to use them to make other art.

Triton illustrated by jennifer farley
Triton illustrated by Jennifer Farley


The Kraken illustrated by Jennifer Farley
The Kraken illustrated by Jennifer Farley


Song of the Siren illustrated by jennifer farley
The Song of the Siren illustrated by Jennifer Farley
Madame Butterfly illustrated by Jennifer Farley

Madame Butterfly Poster

Madame Butterfly illustrated by Jennifer Farley

I went to see Madame Butterfly at the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin last week. I’ve seen the opera three times now (in different productions and places) and still can’t get enough of it. You would need a heart of stone not to be moved by the story and the music. The version I saw last week was by Opera North and was so beautiful with wonderful performances and a lovely, clever yet simple set. This illustration was part of my solo Pocketful of Rainbows exhibition.

If you’re not familiar with the story, here it is in a tiny nutshell:
In 1904, a U.S. Naval officer, Pinkerton, rents a house on a hill in Nagasaki, Japan. He is marrying a 15 year old Japanese girl called Cio-Cio San, (Cio-Cio, pronounced “Chocho”, is Japanese for Butterfly). Butterfly is ecstatic about her marriage to the American and has secretly converted from Shinto to Christianity. The wedding takes place in the house and Pinkerton and Butterfly spend their first night together.

Three years later, Butterfly is waiting for Pinkerton to return to Nagasaki. He left very shortly after their wedding and Butterfly is convinced he will return. Her maid Suzuki keeps insists he is not coming back, but she will not listen to her. (She sings the wonderful “Un Bel Di” – One Fine Day) The American Consul, Sharpless, comes to the house with a letter which he has received from Pinkerton in which he is asked to break some news to Butterfly that he is coming back to Japan, but he cannot bring himself to finish it, because Butterfly becomes very excited to hear that Pinkerton is coming back. Sharpless asks Butterfly what she would do if Pinkerton were not to return. She then reveals that she gave birth to Pinkerton’s son after he had left and asks Sharpless to tell him.

From the hill house, Butterfly sees Pinkerton’s ship arriving in the harbor. She and Suzuki prepare for his arrival, and then they wait. Suzuki and the child fall asleep, but Butterfly stays up all night waiting for him to arrive. (This scene is so beautiful and features one of my all-time pieces of music “The Humming Chorus“.)

Suzuki wakes up in the morning and Butterfly finally falls asleep. Sharpless and Pinkerton arrive at the house, along with Pinkerton’s new American wife, Kate. They have come because Kate has agreed to raise the child. But, as Pinkerton sees how Butterfly has decorated the house for his return, he realizes he has made a huge mistake. He admits that he is a coward and cannot face her, leaving Suzuki, Sharpless and Kate to break the news to Butterfly. Agreeing to give up her child if Pinkerton comes himself to see her, she then prays to statues of her ancestral gods, says goodbye to her son, and blindfolds him. She places a small American flag into his hands and goes behind a screen, cutting her throat with her father’s hara-kiri knife. Pinkerton rushes in. He is too late.

Very dramatic and very emotional, Madam Butterfly is a feast for the eyes and the ears. This is my illustrated homage.


Queer As Folk


This is a picture I made for the Queer As Folk exhibition at the White Lady Art Gallery, Dublin.

Here’s the official blurb for the show.

Queer As Folk is a group exhibition that will explore each artist’s individual take on what modern sexuality means to them, and artwork that will offer visitors contemporary views on LGBTQ issues that will be open to discussion during the month.The gallery will host special events during the exhibition to raise money for BeLonG To . Join us on our opening night for live music sponsored by Super Happy Fun Times, free refreshments and BYOB.

So my piece was originally going to be called “Adam and Steve”. We’ve heard the religious right using this silly, anti-gay slogan, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and that’s where I started from. I’ve decided to call it “Up Yours (Fundamentalists)” – probably equally silly but it made me laugh, and my beloved husband picked that name. The idea here is simply two guys having a bit of fun on the other side of the Garden of Eden. The background here is a painting “Rust op de vlucht naar Egypte, manner of Jan Brueghel” which is in the public domain and made available from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Irish Writer Portraits Jennifer Farley

Irish Writers

As part of an on-going project illustrating Irish writers, here are portraits of George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. These three prints were chosen for inclusion in the Halftone Exhibition in the Library Project in Temple Bar in Dublin.

Irish Writers illustrated by Jennifer Farley

George Bernard Shaw

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin 1856.

George Bernard Shaw by Jennifer Farley

Oscar Wilde

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

Two of my favourite children’s stories are “The Selfish Giant” and “The Happy Prince”, by Wilde. They are both a little bit heart-breaking.

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin in 1854.

And here is Oscar resplendent in red:

Oscar Wilde illustrated by Jennifer Farley

James Joyce

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”

James Joyce wrote a book of short stories called “Dubliners” and one of the characters in there was called Farley – just like me. Here is my illustrated homage to the man who wrote many classics, including one I’ve never been able to get through – Ulysses. James Joyce was born in Dublin in 1882.

James Joyce illustrated by Jennifer Farley

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Jennifer Farley

Wimoweh – the lion sleeps tonight

The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Jennifer FarleyLast night was the opening of Sounds Damn Fine exhibition, orchestrated by the fantastic people at Damn Fine Print. 30 artists were chosen to exhibit with 30 hand-pulled prints from each available on the night. The theme was Sounds Damn Fine and each artist picked a song or lyric from a song on which to base their illustration. I picked the super-catchy Wimoweh song, also known as The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The illustrations from each artist were limited to two colours.

Each print was screen printed by hand and the results were really beautiful and I was thrilled to be involved.

Sounds Damn Fine - The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Jennifer Farley

The song was originally recorded by Solomon Linda in South Africa in 1939. It was recorded by lots of different artists over the years, making it to no.1 in 1961. However it didn’t reach LEGENDARY status until recorded by Tight Fit and their leather loin cloths 🙂 I remember seeing them on Top of the Pops when I was a kid. There are some things you just can’t unsee.