2021 in a nutshell

Hello, long time no see! As it has been a busy arty year but also with fewer opportunities for real world meetings and greetings, I thought it was about time I wrote a blog. Here's a little snapshot of some of the exciting things that happened and are in progress in my studio at the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, Ireland. I hope you enjoy reading x Sophie 
Exciting news!

I'm delighted to announce I have been granted an Agility Award by the Arts Council of Ireland. This will fund a new and exciting project that will begin in the new year. The project will combine traditional craft processes with digital and electronic interface to create a large-scale responsive artwork. I'm very excited about it and I can't wait to get started! I will be sharing my process over on my social media accounts and website so do be sure to follow along and watch the magic (and perhaps a little madness) unfold!


In the Window and the International Biennale of Glass

October was a busy month with a solo exhibition "In the Window' at the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool where I presented 9 sculptures from my current series Nubivagant (Cloud Wanderer) as part of the Liverpool Irish Festival, with support from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. At the same time another sculpture from the series 'Small Sky' (pictured above) was selected for the International Biennale of Glass in Bulgaria where it now resides in their public collection. I continue to develop the works in this series. These delicate glass vessels are inspired by lucid dreams and beautiful skies, an attempt to transpose the intangible transcience of a fleeting moment in time into material form. Works from the series are available to buy from the website.

I made this award as the start of the year as a little joke for myself but I can proudly say I am now officially an award-winning artist! As well as the Agility Award, I also won a Makers to Masters support from Bradley: The Brand Agency, and had my work selected for the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland's Portfolio which is a list of the top 93 makers in Ireland. Blimey! Next I might make myself one of those big novelty cheques or a winning lotto ticket perhaps?
Amongst the many lockdowns I continued my endeavours to learn about business things, like how to sell the art once you've made it. I'm still getting the hang of the practical side but I did manage to snaggle a first in Business Management & Entrepreneurship from Ulster University.
Other lockdown activities included creating small artworks for two amazing art quilts. Pluid Project's 'National Comfort Blanket' was made with over 1200 artworks and was displayed at Farmleigh in Dublin with the pieces auctioned afterwards to raise over €40,000 for Pieta House.
Above is 'A Breath of Fresh Air' organised by the Glass Society of Ireland. It is created with glass art from 50 glass artists from around the country. It travelled to the biennale of glass in Venice, was displayed at Dublin Castle as part of DCCI Keep Well exhibition and is currently keeping the President of Ireland company at Áras an Uachtaráin until the end of January.
At the start of the year I got to visit this lovely stained glass window in Belfast that I helped create when I was working for Spires Art last year. It is an homage to Bernini's dove window in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, although on a smaller scale! When the light comes through the glass and lights up the room it really is very lovely. I don't have a religion as such but sometimes when I work with glass and something so magic comes together, it does feel really special so I was really honoured to be a part of this project.