Mary Plunkett is a graphic designer and printmaker who specialises in letterpress. She designs and prints her own work, in particular book arts, and enjoys collaborating with other artists, writers and designers. Her work is in the collections of the National Library of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin Rare Books, National University of Ireland Maynooth, National Irish Visual Arts Library, Boston College Library, The British Library and private collections.
In 2011 she completed a Masters in Visual Communication in the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, through letterpress and combined it with other print techniques to produce a limited edition book ‘Night Prayer’. The book went on to win Print of the Year at the Irish Print Awards. She spent a summer working with Hand & Eye Letterpress in London and on her return had the pleasure of being Designer in Residence to Distillers Press in NCAD, 2012-13. She now teaches the letterpress evening & summer courses held at the press. She is a member of Graphic Studio Dublin, the oldest fine art printmaking facility in Ireland, and worked with their Director, Robert Russell, to set up their letterpress area.
Since 2013 she has also been involved with a number of projects with the National Print Museum, including the ‘Lightbulbs’ book project with Fighting Words, the Creative Community Workshop in 2014 and the ‘Creating the Manifesto’ project in 2016. She also teaches the letterpress aspect of the LTI course in Heritage and Cultural Studies and the one-day public courses for families and adults.
2015 marked the launch of her imprint, The Belgrave Private Press, named for the area of her home in Dublin. The first commission to be produced at her workshop was a book of the selected poetry of William Butler Yeats to mark the Yeats2015 celebrations, funded by Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Irish Design 2015. She was also commissioned to design and print three unique Yeats books which were presented as St Patrick’s Day gifts to President of USA, Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.
As well as letterpress, Mary works in linocut and etching to produce prints for exhibition.
Recent exhibitions include ‘Selected Poetry of Joseph Mary Plunkett & George Noble Count Plunkett’ at Graphic Studio Gallery, 2016, ‘Words and Fragments’ at The Hamilton Gallery Sligo, offsite, 2015, ‘Wild Flowers from Nature’, Belfast Print Workshop Gallery 2014, Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition, 2014, 2015 & 2017 and regular group shows with Graphic Studio Gallery.