Merit Award 2017

Nuala O'Donovan

Nuala O'Donovan

Merit Award

Originally from Cork, Nuala O’Donovan spent a number of years working in the UK, Australia and the USA before returning to her home city in 1997. She completed a BA in Three-Dimensional Design at Middlesex University in 1994 and graduated from Crawford College of Art & Design with an MA in Ceramics in 2008. She makes delicate sculptural pieces based on the geometry of natural forms.

Her work combines regular pattern with the characteristics of the irregular, using the fractal patterns found in nature as a system of constraint when making decisions about the fine porcelain forms that she produces. Each piece is constructed slowly over a period of weeks or months and fired a number of times during the making process. The finished forms evolve as a result of an intuitive response to the direction that the pattern takes during the course of its making and the potential for irregularity inherent in the hand-making process. Her sculptures are informed by research into specific patterns found in nature and reflect on the ability of living organisms to adapt, respond and continue growing as they evolve.

Nuala O’Donovan applied for a Golden Fleece Award to allow her to pursue the development of groupings of pieces utilising different finishes that mimic other materials such as cast metal. These works completed in different media will be conceptually linked and act as a starting point from which to explore the aesthetics of groups of related forms and processes.