Post Grad 2017: Brendan Commane

My influences come from various sources, conversations, film, music and the general ebb and flow of life. 

What did you do before your MA?

I completed 2 undergraduate degrees in the 1980s and 1990s and went on to be a teacher.

My major was art and I taught art for several years in various secondary schools, mostly in London.

I became very interested in working with people with special needs and inclusion and so started to work in this field with a specific interest in autism.


Tell us a bit about your work

My art work has always been about stories and I have often used collage as my preferred medium as it allows the layers, twists and turns of stories to be realized in a visual way.

Some of my influences in the visual arts are Picasso, Matisse, da Vinci, Chagall, Matt Collishaw and many others.

In the show, I am featuring a film titled Source. The whole exhibition is a result of my arts based research with a group of carers of people with Alzheimer’s and so source is looking at what drives the carers to show such great commitment and dedication to the one they care for.

It also features a painting, collage and an assemblage of a table of curiosities dedicated to the science and spirituality connected with care.


Can you tell us about the course?

The MA Inclusive Arts Practice course has been a life line for me. I too am a carer for my aunt with Alzheimer’s and the course has supported me to use art as a means to bring my life experiences and thoughts into a very visual format. The reading and research in the course has worked along- side my artistic practice and therefor it has required me to really concentrate, reflect, evaluate and ask myself many questions about my own art work.


What’s next for you?

I am very keen to further explore Alzheimer’s and dementia because it is now a world- wide issue affecting many lives. I would possibly like to look more closely at how digital media could support the well-being of people who live with this condition. I would like to formalize this idea into a PhD, to allow the widest possible platform in raising awareness and understanding of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

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