A Derry mum of two has combined her love of art and science as part of her first ever exhibition - The Sick Rose.
Aislinn Cassidy from the city was forced to choose between Art and Music at the end of her third year in school as part of her GCSE options.
And as she showed promise as a flautist she decided to go down the music route. But when it came to her A-levels Aislinn opted to study science subjects. She went on to study microbiology at university and went into teaching.
“I spent three years teaching in Fermanagh,” explained Aislinn, “but when I had my two boys Eoin and Sean the commute became too much.”
The Derry woman spent the next five years devoting her time as a mother to her two boys.
“The boys really got the benefit of that,” she said, “and it was what I wanted to do.”
But her love of art remained and was about to take her life down a completely new direction.
“I had been painting recreationally with the group in Pilot’s Row,” she said. “Then I saw the foundation course in art at the North West Regional College. It was a real eyeopener for me and I moved on to the HND Fine Art course. It is the best thing I have ever done. And I never ever thought that I would end up with my own exhibition.”
The Sick Rose exhibition first began in the corridors of the Lawrence building in the NWRC.
“It was one of my assignments,” explained Aislinn. “People were afraid to walk under it because they were afraid of getting soaked. I then decided to knock on a few doors to try and get it exhibited. I was so grateful to Niall at the Playhouse for letting me in the door.”
Aislinn explained how the sick rose depicts bags of poison with flowers, and said the inspiration came from William Blake’s poem The Sick Rose.
“I like that people come in and try to figure it all out,” said Aislinn. “My intention is that the viewer can explore the symbolism and science used by myself in the construction of the installation aesthetically and emotionally. And hopefully it will prompt you to question the scientific processes involved in the various elements of the installation.”
Aislinn is now preparing for a second exhibition in the Alley Theatre in Strabane in November. You can follow Aislinn at @aislinnocassidy or on facebook.
You can view the exhibition at the Playhouse until later tomorrow.