What is your chosen medium and what are your techniques?
I do lampworking in borosilicate glass. The technique I employ involves working the glass out into spindly, skeletal forms that are haunting in their fragility and brittleness. Much like a spider’s web every individual strand is connected together to form the wider sculpture.
There is no feeling more satisfying than seeing the strands build slowly on top of each other until the form of a magnificent bird takes shape in all its delicate glory.
How would you describe your work and where do you think it fits within the sphere of contemporary glass?
I would describe my work as at once a desperate plea to do something before its too late and at the same time a triumphant call for all to come and marvel at the wonders that nature has provided for us. I can’t take much credit for what I do as I am only showing the beauty that is there to be seen already so long as it can be preserved. Where I fit within the sphere of contemporary glass is right where I am, side by side with Trondúr Patterson and all the others who with their art bring us all closer to the beauty of nature.
Tell us a bit about your process and what environment you like to work in?
I like to work with good light and in a calm environment. It aids me greatly to have peace and serenity while I work and although family life can sometimes interrupt that I wouldn’t trade my beautiful lovely daughter for the world and I like to have her nearby at all times.
Although leaving the studio to feed her and look after her cuts into time spent working I feel she inspires me to work harder, and I love the idea that the pieces I make now and the birds that they represent could be things that she enjoys when she gets older.
Who do you look up to when it comes to aesthetics?
There was a famous Irish stained glass artist by the name of Harry Clarke. HIs beautiful work is still to be seen in many churches and other buildings around my home town of Dublin and I have also acquired books dedicated to his works. He was renowned throughout the world for what he did and although I am not particularly religious myself I can see completely how his imposing and striking use of light and colour in Ireland’s Cathedrals and churches helped to inspire people to believe and stand in awe at the majesty of God.
What currently inspires you and which other artists do you admire and why?
I admire Trondur Pattursons work, as I feel the work evokes a sense of freedom. Patturson is very expressive in his painting and approach to creating glass. I try to create elegant and organic forms. Trondúr Patterson is a man who I believe has done great work with his beautiful glass birds and expressive glass paintings that are so vibrant and alive with colour and light. Although in technique we differ quite a bit I strive to achieve a similar effect with the bright colours and use of shadow and light I employ in my work.
How are you experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic in your country? To what extent has your everyday life as an artist changed in lockdown?
The pandemic has prevented exhibitions and further training I had planned. It has allowed me time to develop my lampworking skills, create videos and collect audios for future installations. We have had extremely severe lockdowns in Ireland at one point being limited to not venturing more than 2 kilometres from our homes and all of these draconian restrictions have made me feel even more inspired and empowered by the beautiful freedom that is encapsulated by the bird in flight. I hope that measures can be taken that will stop the death that this virus has brought to the world and I would hope that restrictions like the 2km rule can be a thing of the past and that people who live in inner city Dublin for example are never again cut off from the beauty of nature.