Earth Related Sculpture
The ceramic pieces are individually hand built using a grogged terracotta and vingerling clay body. The surfaces are finished with layers of dry glazes and fired to 1100c. All the bronze sculptures are hand finished and patinated by the artist. The large bronze pieces are cast in editions of one to five and her smaller limited edition runs range from nine to one hundred casts of a form. The inspiration for glazes textures and bronze patination come from the colours and textures of organic growth and erosion on wood stone metal and contemporary materials. The continual source of such weathered and natural surfaces is that of the landscape of Ireland, and of the Earth herself.
N I A M H N Í S H Ú I L L E A B H Á I N
Niamh Ní Shúilleabháin is recognised by many critics as being amongst the five most important sculptors in clay to have emerged in Ireland in the last fifteen years. Her strongly figurative work, unique both for its boldness and imagery and in the manner in which her personal vision is articulated and built, has been taken seriously by critics, private collectors, galleries, reviewers and her contemporaries. Niamh is now casting in bronze, a time honoured craft dating from classical antiquity through the Renaissance in the 15th century, to the present day resurgence in interest. The technique has remained essentially unchanged for 6,000 years. Bronze casting is enabling her to create larger and more durable work with a huge variation of surface texture, colour and finish through the patina applied thereby capturing a tremendous richness and quality of surface and able to reach a wider audience.
She mainly resides in London, frequently returning to Ireland, travelling the terra firma of the Celtic Lands. 'My pieces act like resonators, barometers of my own personal understanding and development, with their full meaning sometimes only reaching my consciousness awareness months after their making. The pieces take on a life and Spirit of their own. I bring them into being as a catalyst. They mark my empirical, prescient and spiritual understanding but I believe they are substantive and continue to evolve as I do, and continue growing with their owners.
My work is about my physical and spiritual communion with Mother Earth. It is a fulfilling of my functional role within the creative intentions of the Universe, a celebration of all that is beautiful, all encompassing and loving. It is a celebration of the powers which are in nature and consequently in ourselves, a teaching of re-inhabiting the Earth in a truly human manner, a moving from an anthropocentric sense of reality and value to a biocentric norm.
Sculpting for me is my prayer. Prayer is a release of wisdom, an opening of the heart and a letting go.
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