N.C.A.D. Diploma in Art & Design

Multidisciplinary (Prelim. to Final Project) Outline


See below for project outline

See here for project work




So far you have been introduced to, and experimented with, a range of media:

2D - Drawing, Painting and Photograph

3D - Found Materials and Sculptural Processes (plaster, mould making etc.)


For this project, the plan is to identify a topic/theme for research and explore it through at least two of the above media.  One of the media should be selected from any of the 2D areas and the other media selected from a 3D area. 





The area of interest that you select is entirely up to you.  You may already be working on a topic that you wish to continue with, in which case go ahead.  


If you want to start something new but are not sure what exactly, the best way to proceed is as follows:

Take your notebooks and a selection of the best work from each project that you have done so far this year. Consider which media you enjoyed working with the most and which ideas were most successful.  Allow yourself a little time to reflect here, it could be that you have always thought of yourself as painter but in reality you enjoyed 3D or photography more, or, it could be that the areas you found difficult were also the most interesting and challenging.


As you probably know by now, the knack is to select a topic that is broad enough to allow you scope to experiment with your materials but not so broad as to get lost entirely.  Also, remember that you need to come up with an idea that can be expressed through more then one media.


Ideas lead vs Materials lead



Artists working across different media is quite a recent development.  Fifteen years ago it would have been quite unusual to go to an exhibition and see film, painting and 3D work all in the same exhibition by the one artist, however, it is quite a common practice now.  It may help to have a look at some multidisciplinary artists (as listed in the below section 'Irish Artists who Work in Several Media').


Many contemporary artists today describe their practice as ideas led.  This means that they come up with an idea and then research and explore the idea through whichever media are most appropriate.  Some ideas might be best expressed as film, the next idea might be best suited to drawing etc.


Other artists claim to be ‘painters’ or ‘photographers’ or ‘sculptors’ - in which case they start with their medium/materials and work through them with ideas developing throughout the process.


In reality, for most artists I think that the process is somewhere in between i.e. you explore a theme or idea with materials in mind and vice versa.


Irish Artists who work in several media


Nevan Lahart

Mark Garry

Isabel Nolan

Bea McMahon


Brendan Earley


Eamon O'Kane


Sonia Shiel


Finola Jones

Alice Maher





Start by giving yourself a week or two in order to research ideas and possible materials.  You should have an outline plan in your notebooks by the end of this time.  In all likelihood this project will lead into your final project for assessment in May so there is no need to feel that it has to be finished over the next two weeks - just that you will have a body of work (in progress) to present.


Project Work

See here for project work