Ursula Burke's work explores the psycho-social landscape of Northern Ireland and the region's competing identities.
Fiona Byrne was born in Dublin but now lives and works in Switzerland. She has a Joint BA in the History of Art & Craft Design Glass from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, an MA in Arts Management & Cultural Policy from UCD, and completed a PhD in Museum Studies at the University of Limerick in 2018. Her background is in traditional techniques of glass blowing, and her work is closely connected to process and materiality.
The concept of knowledge drives her work: what it is, how we categorise it, what types of knowledge we value. She is drawn to the singular communication techniques of ancient cultures, especially in relation to nature and the spirit world, such as shamanism. Using outsider perspectives of such practices as a jumping off point, she seeks to draw attention to areas where we have lost connection with the natural world and create dialogue around what types of ‘knowing’ are valued in today’s society. Recent work is inspired by the art of divination, scrying. The resulting pieces are small human attempts to see into the future and grasp at the unknown. They look at the internal need for certainty and stability. Representing forms knowledge often disregarded by the mainstream and lost to most; their messages are broadcast but not understood.
Fiona Byrne applied for a Golden Fleece Award to facilitate access to specialist equipment that will allow her to further develop 3D hot-form glass pieces with the use of a hot glass furnace, larger kilns and cold workshop. She plans to make new work at dedicated production facilities at Creative Glass, Switzerland and Berlin Glas e.V., Germany.