Curated by Ava Hayes, Director of Cork Craft Month, Cork Craft and Design and former Sample-Studios Graduate Curatorial Resident, selected from the work of members of benchspace, Cork Craft and Design, Sample-Studios and Shandon Art Studios.
Featuring work by the following artists:
I am a Polish born artist/maker based in Ireland. In 2021 and a recent graduate from Contemporary Applied Art (Ceramics, Glass, Textiles) at MTU Crawford College of Art and Design. I have always been fascinated by geometry. I find a sense of harmony within the order of geometrical patterns. In my practice, I use a variety of materials such as glass, ceramics, metal and card to create sculptural pieces.
I was born in Cork and grew up in Carrigtwohill. As a child I carved wooden boats using my father’s chisels. I can still remember the constant reminder ‘Keep your hands behind the blade’. After leaving school I served my apprenticeship as a joiner and worked for many years in a joinery workshop which led me to setting up my own business designing and making furniture. Many of my design are inspired by my love of nature, music and the sea. Over the past few years I have had some very interesting commissions including the furniture for a church. I have also taught woodwork in Ireland and in France.
Charlie Mahon is my name. I like to tell stories through clay, making the shape, sculpting the form and painting the story. Each piece takes up to six weeks to complete. Through my art, my ambition is to tell a story through creative means. My inspiration comes from Expressionism and the Bauhaus era along with today’s political and economic climate, history, and day to day life. Every sculpture is 3 dimensional, telling a story through throwing on a pottery wheel, hand building a mould to make the basic shape, hand building the sculpture, painting the sculptures story. I have a very active imagination and I like to invite the viewer to imagine along with me. Along with all of this is my love of colour. Enjoy.
Tony Farrell is a full time woodturner based in Ballinora, Waterfall, Co. Cork. Making bowls, lamps, chopping and serving boards from Irish grown woods, which he harvests and seasons himself. Seasoning can take from six months up to two years. Tony’s tips for looking after your Wooden Bowl: Wooden bowls can be washed in warm water (not immersed). Not suitable for dishwasher. Bowls can be refinished if needed. An alternative treatment is to gently rub on a good salad oil such as olive oil.
Mr Kite Designs are Jade and Jo, a pair of textile enthusiasts from Cork. They are self-taught makers who share a passion for craft, design, colour and pattern. Formed in 2016, Mr Kite design and make their range of lampshades and homewares at their studio at the Marina, Cork City.
I am a full time furniture maker, I design and make bespoke freestanding furniture and built in cabinetry. I enjoy working on unique furniture pieces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Karina is working as a fine art ceramic artist, designer, and pottery workshop facilitator for adults and children. In her work as a ceramic designer, she has worked on several commissions for interior projects and wall decorations. Samples of her bespoke ceramic tiles can be seen at Designer Tiles in Douglas, and Eden tiles, also in Cork. Between 2019 and 2021 Karina participated in a number of public art projects funded by Cork City Council. These included an Arts in Context project, the Shandon Orienteering Project and a Walking Shandon project. Karina is dedicated to supporting and enriching Cork city’s cultural landscape, especially the iconic Shandon area, where her studio is situated.
As an artist based in West Cork, I use a range of different media to explore my relationship to the world around me, ranging from drawing and painting, textile manipulation, wearable art and costume, and site-specific installations. I work with recycled and natural materials that I find around me, which evoke a response in me, and also highlight the importance of protecting our natural environment, to create wearable works using the body as a canvas upon which to express myself.
My work speaks to the primal human need for connection. Connections to each other, to a sense of self and to our collective home, earth. I contextualise earth, as a sentient being within my narrative. A methodology of research situated within the natural landscape is fundamental to my process, supporting the practice of artist functioning as conduit between subject and materiality. I often incorporate ethically sourced organic matter into my materials. In a broader context, I investigate whether a more interpersonal relationship with the ecosystem can support both the individual and fabric of society as a whole. There are many strands to my practice including drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.
Edith O’Regan has been a member of Sample-Studios since 2017 and a community medical doctor. She explores the tension between colour and texture and hence between appearances and underlying structures using mixed media, thread and paint. She is a recipient of the Irish Arts Council Agility Award.
Following a recent residency in Rimbun Dahan Arts Centre in Kuala Lumper, O’Hara’s new work builds on her personal experience of living and working in the jungle to generate sensory explorations of imagined paradises. These boldly colourful and abstracted dreamscapes exist outside of time and space, completely immersing the viewer in the Artists vision and generously granting them access to her own experiences, ambitions and motives. O’ Hara’s emotionally charged works, depict lush and verdant, fantasy landscapes evoking a sense of reverie, nostalgia and wanderlust through vivid works on paper and ceramic vessels. Her confidence with colour and her daring use of strong abstract shapes paired with the spontaneity of the mark-making remind the viewer that this is a dream, a fluid, shifting space that is at once eternal and fleeting. The various scales and materials of the works add to the dreamscape with landscapes growing and shrinking becoming ferociously lucid or subtly delirious. The work conjures the memory of a landscape rather than a specific site, a gentle but poignant reminder of the precarious nature of our own natural environment and our obligation to protect it.
As a sculptor my challenge is to release the life that exists within the stone by redefining its form. My work reflects the experiences of my life: embraced in traditional media of Bronze, Stone, Ceramic and Mixed Media, yet expressed in unorthodox form, The feel of the polished surface emulates the clinical nature of the surgical world: embodied tissue and muscle. I hope to provoke thought in the viewer of life’s contradictions; of trials and tribulations; of solid form and feeling in the hard stone there exists a soft curve.
Mags Geaney’s new series of paintings explores the recognition of gesture and the art of ‘giving face’. Her working process extracts images from mass media streams in particular high fashion magazines and celebrity culture. Through this practice, she is drawn to composition and poses that are heightened by performance and direction. She then subverts the visual language that these images are constructed through, renewing these found subjects through empathic connection, black humour, and rebellious play. Geaney’s paintings interrogate how we are seduced by images, while also amplifying and transforming them into affective and dislocating moments. Through her treatment of images, she has created singular portraits in paint that address emotions that lie just beneath the surface.
Alex Thiel Goldsmith is a goldsmith and jewellery designer who creates stunning pieces of bespoke jewellery using traditional techniques and modern design elements. Based in the Cork city at Benchspace, Alex Thiel's workshop is a hub of creativity and craftsmanship, where she work tirelessly to produce exquisite, one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect the unique personality and style of each client. From engagement rings and wedding bands to necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, Alex Thiel Goldsmith offers a wide range of jewellery options to suit any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a timeless and classic design or something more contemporary and edgy, Alex Thiel’s portfolio of work is sure to inspire and impress. With a passion for quality and a commitment to ethical sourcing and sustainable production practices, Alex Thiel Goldsmith is dedicated to creating jewellery that not only looks beautiful but also feels good to wear. Every piece is made to order, using only the finest materials and expert techniques to ensure a flawless finish that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re in the market for a bespoke piece of jewellery, looking to repair a beloved and sentimental piece of jewellery, or simply looking to explore the world of fine craftsmanship and design, Alex Thiel Goldsmith is the
Paul is a Cork born Painter and Printmaker. He undertook his undergraduate studies at St. Martins College, London, in 2000 and graduated with a BA in Graphic design; majoring in illustration and printmaking. He has since gained extensive work experience in various art industries from 2000 to 2012, including: picture framing, art materials manufacturing and retail. Since 2013, he has been working as an art teacher teaching painting to various community groups and art institutions in Cork. Paul is a member of Cork Printmakers and Sample Studio Paul uses various painting and printmaking techniques in his practice. Inspired by his immediate surroundings, man-made’ vs nature, and memory’s relationship to a sense of place are predominant themes in his work. Depicting how colour, light and shadow, Paul uses seemingly unremarkable subjects, such as everyday urban and industrial settings, to visually explore the conflicts between forces of nature and socio economic modernisation. The subject of these works is boundaries, the use of shadows is essential in conveying the transient nature of these boundaries and their ever-changing nature over time. The artwork reflects both the perception of boundaries and their actual presence in the landscape, depicting the movement and evolution of these boundaries over time. In 2022 was awarded the Dearcan bursary award for a residency at Benchspace where he is exploring new practices in his work such as woodworking and laser cutting. In 2023 The residency was extended for a second year.
I was born and raised in County Cork, and currently live and work in the city centre. I studied English and Philosophy in university where I realised I needed a more tactile and visual form of communication. So, I went on to practise metal art object making in St. Johns, with welding on the side, and have been picking up different tools and techniques ever since both in self-taught and formal education. My practise is contemporary non-traditional with an appreciation of technique. I started with wire and was quickly attracted to the weight, solidity and unmistakable lustre of metal. It is wonderfully versatile and can endure a lot of work. Wood can have a warmer, more organic feel to it so they compliment each other while balancing out workability-wise. In terms of influences, I am drawn to the aesthetic of eastern schools of thought such as nature based Daoism and Shintoism, and the minimalism of Zen Buddhism which Japanese bamboo art, and early Chinese ink paintings are associated. Contemporary portrait painter Christian Hook, and mixed media artist Jo Delafons never fail to inspire, while closer to home I look out for Nuala O’Donovan’s fractal porcelain sculptures, and Joseph Walsh’s sculptural furniture. The pieces on display in STAMP are part of the series ‘Reconnection’ which shares a few ways (and a few discoveries for me) that we relate to the self. Other work has been included in exhibitions in Cork and Belfast, with a piece now part of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Art Collection.
Featured image: Claire Hurley Wearable Art