My solo exhibition Flux reflects on the past ten years of global unsettlement and the effect it has had on the sculpture that I make. During this time, my work became explorative and my work pattern changed. I followed paths in new directions which enthralled and excited me and created new bodies of work during this challenging decade of extraordinary innovation.
The recession brought austerity and inflation, and many lost all they owned. Shifting social attitudes saw LGBT rights and female representation make substantial progress during the decade. The migrant crisis intensified. Smartphones became widespread and social media blossomed. Superhero and animated films became box office leaders and the world was changing rapidly.
I developed my Black and White series of painted figurative sculptures at the turn of the decade. I then became fascinated with minimal abstract form combining polished cast bronze and mirror polished stainless steel to make flowing tactile sculptures. A holiday in Morocco changed my conception of the woman’s role in less enlightened cultures and created a series of bound figures entitled Emergence, painted in bright turquoise and purple hues.
In the autumn of 2019, I was awarded the commission Teachers Inspire by Dublin City University. This prestigious commission The Teachers Inspire initiative evolved from a discussion between Dermot Desmond, benefactor of The Desmond Chair in Early Childhood Education at DCU, and Prof. Brian MacCraith, then President of DCU. Teachers Inspire Ireland is an Ireland wide initiative that seeks to recognise the positive role that teachers play in our lives. The sculpture 2300mm high in cast bronze will be positioned outside the library this autumn. Annual replica awards will be awarded to a teacher in each province over five years.
In January 2020 I was awarded the commission Unity by Spear Street Capital, New York and supervised by Hines, Cherrywood Co. Wicklow. Unity almost nine meters in height is a fabricated stainless-steel sculpture featuring Celtic designs from the local Rathdown Slabs and a light box to act as a way finder to Cherrywood Business Park.
With the onset of Coronavirus, like so many others during lockdown I concentrated on my garden and daily rituals that marked the passing solitude. My apprehension for our family members giving birth during this uncertain time and my admiration for our daughters and their dedication to creating a happy environment for our grandchildren, where they thrived and grew stronger, stimulated me to make new work. Ballerina, Leaf, Nurture, Haven and Family Ties address these issues and mark the time that has changed our society and our way of life.