Nuala O'Donovan makes delicate sculptural pieces in porcelain based on the geometry of natural forms and fractal patterns.
Jennifer Hickey lives and works in Dublin. She received a BDes (Hons) in Ceramics from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin in 2002 and has exhibited her work in galleries throughout Ireland and internationally. She is drawn to the ethereal and delicate properties of her chosen medium – porcelain – and has developed a unique and intricate approach to making.
Themes of fragility, ephemerality and translucency are central to her practice, and she is drawn to the beauty and subtlety of the natural world. The rituals of making, the physical rhythms, the process, time, slowness and repetition involved in realising her sculptures, are all important aspects of her work. From thousands of tiny wafer-thin fired porcelain pieces meticulously sewn together on tulle, she creates fragile sculptures that feel simultaneously familiar and strange. The finely-worked building blocks of her pieces loosely reference natural forms – feathers, perhaps, or leaves – and when assembled they possess the aura of a specimen or model flora or fauna. Their extreme delicacy makes them seem impossible, but they gain in strength and energy from the repetition in their making. The natural properties of clay are intrinsic to her completed pieces.
Jennifer Hickey applied for a Golden Fleece Award to invest in much needed studio equipment and to aid in the completion of a self-built ceramic studio. Funding would finance the final electrical, plumbing and insulation work necessary to complete the build, and allow her to purchase a better quality kiln and other studio equipment that would help her to explore new aspects of the ceramic making process.