Denis Routhier

Burren College of Art Time, Space & Inspiration

Denis Routhier



Working on textiles and paper, my work is emblematic of contemporary Western society’s collective Attention Deficit Disorder, in that it flirts openly with different and varied imagery and subject matter regardless of presupposed importance or triviality or the ideas of “high” or “low” art.
The imagery and subjects used in my work are constantly changing, in both substance and style, thus parroting the seemingly arbitrary and random nature of social media such as Twitter and Pinterest.
Culling intuitive and scattered imagery from various popular media is essential to my use of missives and aphorisms, often conveyed via the visual language of sequential art (comic books) or though repetition and/or the forced union of conflicting narrative threads.
Through my work, I seek to question the value systems of a contemporary Western society which now easily and increasingly without question equates fame and fortune with consequence and substance, mediated and marketed “truths” with ethics and moral standards.


I fully expected to have a productive month during my residency at Burren College of Art. After a long period of inactivity, I was ready and motivated to let loose and create, so that I did just that didn’t come as much of a surprise. It’s “the how” that surprised me.

Living in the Burren, near the college, returning to the house I shared with my fellow residents along scenic walking trails, travelling to the school by mini-bus each morning amidst clouds of fog capping the limestone mountains, chatting with faculty and lunching with staff... all of it became an integral part of not only the daily routine of life, but of art-making as well.

I arrived at BCA with a predetermined plan as to what I would make, how I would make it and who I was as an artist. After one week, that plan was forgotten and when I left, I left completely changed for the better.

I expected to make friends, but not necessarily connections I hope to keep for the rest of my life. I expected to be inspired by my fellow artists’ work, but I didn’t expect that I’d end up collaborating with two of them a year later on an ambitious multi-media project. I expected to love being and creating in Ireland - but I didn’t expect to love the Ballyvaughan and the Burren as profoundly as I grew to -- its landscape, its people, its pubs -- no, wait, that’s a lie, I knew I’d love the pubs -- but I digress.

Since I’ve been back, I long for my time there. I think of it… and without fail, sigh wistfully, knowing for a fact, that I will one day return.

My wife visited me for one week in Ballyvaughan, and when we got back to Canada, we seriously investigating moving back and buying a home in Ballyvaughan and opening a small business there.

It’s that kind of place, it was that kind of experience.