Merit Award 2016

Liam Flynn

Liam Flynn

Merit Award

Liam Flynn (1969-2017) was a self-taught woodturner based in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick. From a family of craftsmen, he began making furniture as a young boy. Later he turned to woodcarving before discovering what he could do with a lathe, manipulating the woodturning process so that the line of grain became an integral part in the design of each piece.

Tending to work in series, his vessels demonstrate an endless fascination with form and line, creating an elegant tension between his works’ initial shape – the circle – which shrank gradually across the grain as the pieces dried to become oval, and their vertical profiles. He demonstrated a keen understanding of his materials and how they would dry, using this knowledge to predict the resulting line, surface and tone of the object. Working primarily with oak, whether ebonised or bleached to minimise or tone back colour, his emphasis was always on form. This ethos continued with his work in paler-coloured woods, such as sycamore, where the focus was on the creation of symmetry between the grain pattern and the shape of the vessel.

Liam Flynn applied for a Golden Fleece Award in order to take time out from a demanding exhibition schedule to allow more time to think, develop and explore new ideas through his work. He also planned to attend the American Association of Woodturners 30th Annual Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, as a speaker, and visit the Centre for Wood Art in Philadelphia, where he previously completed a Windgate ITE International Residency.