Shortlist 2021

Sinéad O'Dwyer

Sinéad O'Dwyer

Sinéad O’Dwyer was born in Dublin and now lives and works in London. She completed a BA in Fashion Design at ArtEZ Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Zwolle, The Netherlands in 2014 and received an MA in Womenswear from the Royal College of Art, London in 2018. Her work investigates the flawed patterns in which female-identifying and femme bodies privately relate to their bodies as visible objects.

Her practice involves an examination of the body as it oscillates between its order as object and its order as subject. The colours and textiles she uses signify objecthood while indexing the practice of mediation that life-casting and moulding entail. By referencing the process of life-casting itself, she indicates the given body’s agency as a subject. She chooses to situate her work within the context of fashion, as the luxury garment industry sets a standard for all to adhere to – even if we don’t see it directly – through both representation and the cutting of garments to fit a singular shape. She uses casting, fiberglass mould making and silicone casting to trace the body and pattern-cuts garments developed in response to the shapes of the casts. Shirring, embroidery, satin-moulding and traditional tailoring are then employed to develop these.

Sinéad O’Dwyer applied for a Golden Fleece Award to fund the purchase of three pieces of specialist equipment that would contribute to the development of her practice – a de-gassing chamber and vacuum pump, AlvaForm mannequin, and Bernina industrial sewing machine.