Flung Blue is a sumptuous, carved form by one of Ireland’s pre-eminent sculptors Eilis O’Connell. Carved in Bolivian Sodalite whilst on a trip to Pietra Santa last year, Flung Blue is beautiful in form but also carefully carved to work in harmony with its material.
Eilis O’Connell’s making process is a deeply inquisitive one with a strong personal sense of the Poetic. Poetry in the simplest sense, like a poet reconstructs common every day words into concentrated, magical and moving art, O’Connell takes material and shape and reconfigures it into new meaningful and beautifully articulated sculpture. Many of Eilis’s sculptures recall D. G. Rossetti ‘moment’s monument’ sonnets or odes to a material or shape, forms bursting, folding, curving, turning, weaving, cutting, merging, flowing and balancing. They achieve a simultaneous feeling of both great antiquity and novel modernity, primal and advanced.
Material is always important to O’Connell and she has found personal and new meaning for bronze, stone, wood, wire mesh, corten steel and much more. Meaning is teased out of these durable materials with her sense of simplification. However, economic means do not imply a lack of intellectual curiosity. O’Connell’s thinking is a haptic journey of discovery, of herself, a material, a process and an image. As a maker the object is handled, turned, questioned, thought and felt, it is the feeling in both senses of the word that makes the object into sculpture. Never a minimalist but certainly a reductionist Eilis concentrates an object into its intense, essential form, through making.
Eilis O’Connell studied at Crawford School of Art, Cork and Massachusetts College of Art, Boston. She is a Royal Hibernian Academician, has won awards from the British School at Rome and the Royal Society of Arts and undertaken residencies in both France and Spain. She has completed numerous large scale public commissions and has shown at the Venice, Paris and Sao Paolo Biennales. Her small sculptures were shown at the Guggenheim Museum in Venice and in 2018 her outdoor sculptures were exhibited at E1027 the home designed by Eileen Grey in Cap Martin, France.