Can you tell me about your practice? How do you get started on a piece of work?
My practice tends to focus on the female body and its representation because it is the framework that best describes the body I inhabit. But I’m also very interested in the malleability of the body and its social constructions, the fluidity of gender and the destruction of former representations of women as portrayed in art, myth and religion.
I have a very tactile approach to art making and always work directly from the material. I rarely create work with a clear vision of the finished piece in mind - it’s those happy accidents that occur along the way that often shape the work I make. I’ve shattered and broken works by accident and then presented them that way because I’ve found them more interesting. Casting is a process I use quite often. I think this is partly because I love that it’s a method that’s also used in things like archaeology and is essentially a tool for recording traces of the past. I also feel there is a level of catharsis existing in the ritual of my own practice that keeps me stimulated (and sane!) when times are strange and uncertain.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
I tend to favour museums over galleries when looking for sources of inspiration. I have a great fondness of historical artworks, artifacts, and curiosities. I’ve referenced and incorporated imagery from Hokusai's prints, the Venus of Willendorf, Victorian wax anatomical models and Caravaggio’s Medusa into some of my own work. The artists I have found most inspiring in shaping my own practice include Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Doris Salcedo, Teresa Margolles, Rachel Kneebone and Anselm Kiefer.
The interplay and tension between convention and the unfamiliar, underpins your work and challenges identity, deconstructs femininity and forces us to reconsider how we view our relationships with objects. Can you discuss this a little further?
I find that it takes a breaking of convention and the familiar to get a point across. People and histories are breathtakingly multi-faceted, identities more complex than conversation allows. Using our relationships with everyday objects as a leaping off point, I seek to tear down those barriers and force myself to question how they, too, construct or challenge our notions of identity and femininity.
How important is the choice of material in relation to realizing the concept of your work?
Materials are an integral component in my practice, and I spend a great deal of time investigating ways to transform them, projecting new identities and layers of meaning into my work in doing so. Recently, ceramics have heavily informed my work. I find the malleable properties of clay provide me with the freedom of form to describe the body in fantastical ways. Porcelain, particularly,has become a medium of choice. Its material properties convey an awareness of opposing states, appearing to be not only heavy, solid, and strong but also light, fragmentary, and soft, demonstrating both strength and vulnerability. There is a sense of purity and innocence found in porcelain that I attempt to subvert through my practice.
What is your most important tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Probably my kiln. I was fortunate enough to receive some funding to purchase one a few years ago which has helped me continue exercising my interest in ceramics. I instantly fell in love with it. There is something truly enchanting about watching a small hardened lump of clay transform into a glistening piece of porcelain in the chamber of a hot oven.
Can you give us a book recommendation that has been important in your practice? And tell us why it’s important.
Finally, is there anything new coming up that you would like to tell us about?
I’ve spent the past few months working on a new commission for the breast clinic of a Dublin hospital that’s due to be installed in mid-January. I have work in upcoming exhibitions in 2022 at Muse Gallery (Notting Hill, London) in January, at Artsect Gallery (Hackney, London) in conjunction with the Glass Foundry in February and at Cromwell Place Gallery in March as part of the Gilbert Bayes Sculpture Award.
Domestic Pleasure, 2019.
Pillow Talk I & II, 2020.
Indelicate Delights, 2021.
Mother,Madonna, Monster, 2019.
Mother,Madonna, Monster, 2019.
Mary in Metamorphiosis, 2020.