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‘Everything is fine’ – or how to have a positive outlook on the lockdown through art

The right to a home,” artwork by Amy McGrath

Amy McGrath only started to draw a few months ago but has already launched her first exhibition of drawings, Everything is fine

Originally from Coolock in north county Dublin, McGrath graduated two years ago in Visual Communication from Technological University Dublin. She now works as an art-worker for a pharmaceutical packaging company and does illustrations as a freelancer on the side. 

It was during last March’s lockdown that she started to draw seriously and found her style. 

“I lost my job working at a local café and I was also diagnosed with a mild case of Covid”, said the 26-year-old illustrator.  

It was while she was stuck at home without being able to see anybody that she started creating her own illustrations.  

“I would draw from morning until evening and this is how the seven pieces of art of Everything is fine were born,” said McGrath 

This Smithfield-based exhibition, which is the first one by the artist, is about life in lockdown and how to stay positive during those unusual and often tough times. It is both from the personal perspective of McGrath and the universal perspective. 

McGrath’s colourful drawings highlight current topics in the most positive way possible. From the housing crisis to being separated from loved ones or dealing with mental health, she tried to cover as many topics as she could. 

With her piece “The Right to a Home,” a drawing of a house where you can peek inside different rooms, the artist shows the importance of having a roof over your head. The artwork “Resolve” shows front line workers and was created to remember the necessity of thanking them for their hard work. 

“Everything Is Fine tries to respond positively to the pandemic, but it doesn’t ignore the problems we are all facing either.” 

Everything is fine was a way for McGrath to get through the lockdown. She wrote on her Instagram (@amymc.grath) that it “celebrates ordinary people trying their best during a unique time.” 

For her, “creating the exhibition has been a therapy in itself.” 

The main message of the exhibition is to stay positive while still acknowledging the current situation. “Blind positivity is bad for your mental wellbeing, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on.” 

In the eyes of McGrath, positivity to get through those peculiar times can be found anywhere. “Take a breath. Let nature fill your senses. If you’re having a hard time, consider talking to a therapist. Tell someone you love them. Don’t take yourself too seriously,” she said. 

Visitors can purchase the artwork as framed pieces or as prints directly at the café. Orders can also be placed through the artist website. Social distancing and other guidelines are thoroughly respected. An activist for the LGBTQ+ community, Amy McGrath is giving 30% of the exhibition profits to TENI (Transgender Equality Network Ireland).  

Everything is fine can be visited at Third Space in Smithfield, Dublin until the end of November. You can visit the website of Amy McGrath here: https://www.amymcgrathillustration.com/.  

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