Divisions and Connections

Mike Byrne

Mike Byrne


February 20 2015

I had the opportunity to view work by Mike Byrne recently while selecting pieces for SO Fine Art Editions Gallery. I had first encountered his most recent series of vessels in 2014 at Culture of Clay; an exhibition of contemporary ceramics by graduates of Limerick School of Art & Design. These large-scale works offer a delightfully different narrative on traditional jug and vessel forms as they explore both the divisions and connections between design, function, craft and art. They reminded me of a talk I delivered recently to students of the art and design departments at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa in Cork.

In considering their future careers in the creative industries, I suggested they explore the many different paths on which they might travel, working in different disciplines and materials, with different audiences and routes to market. Today there are numerous examples of artists and designers who have ‘crossed over’ into different areas of work. Thankfully people no longer respect the boundaries between art, craft and design, which is why a jug can be a work of art….


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Frances McDonald