Creating is what I do most naturally. Whether in my garden, my work for global justice or in my ceramic art, my impulse is to create, initiate and make a better place for living.
My work is strongly influenced by my involvement in both global-justice campaigns and gardening.
Social themes of equality, justice, global warming, the value of work, and the marginalised voice are explored in sculptures that reflect back on the viewer and their action in the world. The works express the need for urgent action and celebrate change when progress has been won.
Cross-cutting are personal themse of identity, the inner realm and relationships.
Many works are made for the garden, enhancing the garden experience, but also moving beyond it. The garden not as passive oasis but, through politically inspired sculpture, relating outward to the wider world.
Through these themes, the tension between the plasticity of clay and the draw of gravity is often stretched through ‘lanky’ pieces that really should flex in the kiln, and sometimes do. The kiln adds to the movement of the piece e.g. ‘Cormac and Richard’.
My training has included almost a decade of night classes first at the Trinity Arts Workshop, TCD, and then the National College of Art and Design Dublin (NCAD). I also had the privilege of an estage in the pottery town of Sao Pedro de Corval, Portugal, where I learned the ways of a production pottery. I am a member of Ceramics Ireland, Visual Artists Ireland and the Dublin Garden Trail.
My learning has been further nurtured through 20 years of a home studio – making, glazing and firing at home. I continuously explore new methods of working, pushing out my own boundaries and creating new possibilities. So my work is eclectic and every piece unique.
Another strong inspiration in my work is this beautiful place – Howth, a hilly outcrop by the sea. I experiment with including local rock (crushed) into my glazes and sometimes local clay in the body of the pottery or granules on the surface to enhance tactility and connection to this beautiful place. More recently I am experimenting with seaweed gathered on the shore to colour the glazes, so the pieces are truly of Howth.
I want to avoid too narrow a niche (‘no fear’ I am told). But some themes are emerging in my work – linked both to my other involvements in global justice and gardening.
Our garden, designed, built and maintained jointly by Nuala and I is open to visit by appointment during the summer months as part of the Dublin Garden Trail
See my Instagram site:
Dublin Garden Trail: DublinGardens.com