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Billy Dante

Billy Dante's work explores the mirrored effect of art as life and life as art, fascinated by the spectacle and theatricality of every aspect of our existence. The work creates a primitive/ritualistic environment in the modern world, highlighting and observing aspects of everyday life to the extent that they become bigger then life. Through the blending of different points of reference, Dante's practise develops a unique language of expression, in this the viewer feels lost and found all at the same time. The viewer picks up on moments of recognition, but these moments are fleeting and quickly dissolve into the hum of experience.


As one grapples for meaning, they are placed outside of their comfort zone and therefore become open to broadened thoughts. The work speaks for the importance of forgotten languages as forms of expression, sounds that have lost their meaning but carry power like a mantra or prayer. The meaninglessness reflects the uselessness of art, taking reference from Oscar Wilde’s, A Picture of Dorian Gray, (‘the only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely’). The work has an intensity that speaks for the empowerment of art, the ability to take simplicity (objects such as the telephone directory) and making them the source of profound feeling. Inspired by the great Irish literary figures Wilde, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, this work intends to stand for art’s ability not to reflect or define the human condition, but once this work is experienced the viewer knows less about life and more about existence.

"The butterfly flutters and the muffled mutters of people that see the creation and empowerment of beauty. Work strives to get to a point, to get to an end, but end is no town in which to house a creature that has dreams of transforming and transcending. Alchemy is the journey and metal is just a dragging weight." Billy Dante

Solo Exhibtions:

Back, Sack and Crack, St. Peter's, North Main Street, Cork, August 2022

Butts and Cracks, St. Johns, Listowel, Co. Kerry, September 2021

Butts and Cracks, MART, Dublin, July 2021

Deaths and Entrances, Black Mariah, Cork, June 2015

A Day in the Life, Backwater Artists Group, Cork, Ireland, February 2015


Group Exhibitions:

Annual Members Exhibition, MART, January 2023

Summer exhibition, Lavit Gallery, Cork, July 2023

Annual Members Exhibition, MART, January 2023

Culture Night, Beframed, Cork, September 2019

Outwards, MART, Dublin, June 2019

Ad Infinitum, MART, Dublin, September 2018

Culture Night, Steambox, Dublin, September 2018

Sample-Studios, Annual Members Exhibition, Cork, December 2017

Open Weekend, Sample-Studios, Cork, December 2016

Skeeze Eile, Temple Bar Art Book Fair, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, November, 2016

Designing for Humans, NCAD, September 2016

Skeeze, Studio 6, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, July 2016

Something in the Air, NCAD, June 2016

Art Book Fair, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, November, 1015

ELIA NEU/NOW Festival, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2015

Between Seeing and Blindness, TACTIC, SampleStudios, Sullivans Quay, Cork, Ireland, June 2015

Silver: Backwater Artists Group Annual Exhibition, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork, Ireland, June 2015

Culture Night: Backwater Studios Residency Award Winners 2014- CCAD, Cork, Ireland, September 2014

Emerging Artists, St. Patricks University Hospital, Dublin Ireland, September 2014

Paris Spleen, Cork Thing, Wandesford Quay Gallery, August 2014

Na hOibreacha, CCAD Degree Show, June 2014

C(art)e Postale, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland, February 2014

One Mans Trash, Gorlitzer Park, Berlin, Germany, July 2013

'Are We There Yet', Half Moon Street, Cork City, Ireland, June 2013

Foyer- Everyman Palace, McCurtain St, Cork, Ireland, July 2012


Curatorial Experience:

Between Seeing and Blindness TACTIC, SampleStudios, Sullivans Quay, Cork, Ireland, June 2015

One Mans Trash, Gorlitzer Park, Berlin, Germany, July 2013

Talks and lectures:

Cork Stroke Support Group- St. Finbarrs Hospital, Cork, Ireland, January 2017

Culture Night: Backwater Studios Residency Award Winners 2014- CCAD, Cork, Ireland, September 2014



National College of Art and Design (2015-2016), MA 2nd class Honours in Interaction Design

Crawford College of Art and Design (2010-2014), BA 1st class Honours in Fine Art



CCAD Graduate Materials Store Bursary, Backwater Studios, September 2014

Morgan P Doyle Purchase Prize, 2014


MART, HX Village Studios, Dublin.

Steambox, School St, Ushers, Dublin.

SampleStudios, Former Goverrment Building, Sullivan's Quay, Cork.

Foghorn, Artist Collective (founding member).

Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay, Cork.



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