Claire Curneen

Irish born Cardiff Met lecturer and artist Claire Curneen delivered a presentation on 04/11/2013 about her Creative Wales Ambassador Award which was presented to her in 2012.

The award allows an artist to work at two venues – one international and one in Wales. Curneen is working at the National Museum of Ireland and Mission Gallery, Swansea. The artist will also receive one year’s wage.

Curneen’s work space in the Mission Gallery is not unlike our studio space at university, she has wall space and a desk in a mostly white room. Curneen will also host an exhibition there upon completing her project. (Jan 18th)

Curneen feels ‘maker’ or ‘artist’ best describes her practise. Her presentation largely described the influences she is gathering for her latest body of work which is still under construction:
Curneen explained how she has been living in Wales longer than Dublin and feels like a tourist when she goes home. Her work reflects this as it is all about change and metamorphosis.
Curneen likes to contemplate objects in museums and galleries. She describes how she appreciates the mark of the maker, providing the example of a whittling mark on a vase. The idea of public and private also interests her, particularly in terms of presentation, giving examples such as how un-glamorous she describes most galleries behind the scenes or how some sculptures use wooden poles to prop up the insides. Curneen is largely drawn to 2D work, something she believes is because of the ability to explore physical impossibilities that 3D cannot achieve. Despite a lot of religious influence in her work, Curneen is not religious, jokingly describing herself as a ‘failed catholic’ and expressing how her family includes nuns and priests but also people like her father who hates religion. Thus, she describes herself as culturally connected to religion. 

The above image explores the idea of excessive making by building constructions of lots of parts. Curneen fires all the parts separately before staking them upon each other and glazing. The glaze holds the forms together. 
The blue flowers on the above sculpture reflect ceramic history. The pose is questioning and the melting flowers give a 
sense of change.

The dense blackness of the above sculpture is inspired by bog oak Irish jewellery. It is also inspired by the story of Apollo and Daphne in which Daphne turns in to a tree. There is a slight blueness to the sculpture, seeping out from the inside like sap and making the viewer question the interior. 


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