Nuala O'Donovan

Ireland
b. 1962

"My work combines regular pattern with the characteristics of fractal forms from nature. The finished forms are a result of an intuitive response to the direction that the pattern takes, as well as the irregularity in the handmade elements of the pattern. I am interested in the narrative quality of irregularities in patterns in living organisms."

Nuala O’Donovan’s work centers on the study of patterns in nature and the history behind a scarred or broken surface.

The response to random events, which is visible in patterns found in nature, is testament to the ability of living organisms to recover, respond, and continue to grow and change and it is these imperfections, caused by a unique experience, that provides evidence of the life force in living organisms. Using the characteristics of irregular/fractal patterns in nature as a reference during the making process, her porcelain forms are resolved but still retain a sense of potential change.

Nuala O’Donovan invites the viewer to engage with the final form by allowing their own personal experiences influence their view of the outcome and/or of future possibilities. This aspect of the work evokes the transitory quality of living organisms, combining traces of the past, present and future in patterns that make up their surfaces and forms.

Each individual element of the pattern, from which final forms are built, is constructed over a period of weeks or months and is fired a number of times throughout the making process.

Nuala O’Donovan lives and works in Cork City, Ireland.

Her work forms part of a number of public collections such as The National Museum of Ireland and the Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland, as well as many corporate and private international collections.


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