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“This is the safest pace on earth” says Joan, as we sit down just before dinner at Ryan’s Hotel in Cong.
Congregation is the warmest safest place on earth, so if you’re going to reveal a new side to yourself, or a part of you that people didn’t know about, here is the best place to do it, and, with 24 hours notice from Eoin, he asked me to speak last night on myself as – and I really struggle to say the word – myself as an artist.
Most people know me obviously through my role in tech. Some people know me through personal talks I’ve given about things that have happened in my life that changed me, but I think it was a particularly strange feeling last night to talk about myself, about something that’s making me really happy and giving me a confidence at a time when its been really useful to me.Joan Mulvihill
Joan explains that, while she had nurtured an interest in painting since childhood, it was never something that she allowed herself to take seriously. Instead, she studied commerce at university and built a career in management.
But painting was something she returned to every couple of years or so, and each time she completed a piece, she felt like she had “got lucky”.
In recent months, however, she found the confidence to take her art in an inspired new direction, and then took the opportunity of a career hiatus to devote herself to painting full-time for two months.
Our conversation took place as she was about to embark on that journey. We talk about her process; the apparent contrast between her workplace persona and the quieter nature that emerges when she is painting; her feelings about ‘impostor syndrome’; and the response of others to her work.
I wanted to do something that I loved, and it doesn’t really bother me if no one else does.
It’s a conversation that is typical of Congregation, which aims to break down the boundaries that keep us siloed in our traditional subject matter areas. Joan is a business person, sure – but she’s also an artist. If you’re a square peg in a round hole, Congregation allows you to step outside that, and engage on topics you might not normally be encouraged to.
That’s why Blacknight is proud to be involved with events such as Congregation. Our job (and we love it!) is to look after the nuts and bolts of the Internet. We also love the fact that this technology provides the outlet for expression that enables people like Joan to let their creativity soar.
The theme for Congregation 2019 has been announced. It’s ‘Community’.
And: check out The Big Blacknight Sale!