Fractal geometry provides infinite possibilities for Nuala O’Donovan

Nuala O'Donovan, Teasel Double Curve. Photograrphy by Janice O'Connell

Nuala O'Donovan, Teasel Double Curve. Photograrphy by Janice O'Connell


December 31 2013

I was delighted to see Nuala O’Donovan discussed in the current issue of Ceramic Review in an article by Eleanor Flegg, which explores how geometry informs her amazing creations. Nuala O’Donovan’s high fired, unglazed work has interested me for a long time.  In 2011 I had the opportunity to work with her on a group show I worked on and in 2013 I included her work in FIVE into FOUR at Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin. However, in 2012 I got the opportunity to interview Nuala in preparation for a residency in Cill Rialaig.  It was a conversation that provided a wonderful insight into her journey as a ceramic artist.

She mentioned early on in the interview that ‘when you are making work, you really have to go back to the starting point’ and so we did.  But what proved most interesting was not her background in construction studies and architectural drawing, although it evidently has informed her work, and her subsequent work in glass and metal, when she discovered the beauty of clay, but her research into structural pattern and geometry. 

For this is the essence of her work – a fascination with pattern, geometry and proportion – what it records and where it takes her combined with the irregularity of the handmade and what that brings to the table.  Eleanor Flegg’s article ‘Fractal Forms and Forking Paths’ can be seen in the current issue of Ceramic Review. Nuala O’Donovan’s work can be seen at SO Fine Art Editions in Dublin.


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Frances McDonald