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Sculpting is a Real Slow Burner

April 21, 2013


I’ve always felt privileged to be a sculptor, it offers everything that I could ever want from life, a pursuit  layered with process giving you time for reflection and balance, not to mention the time involved in process that leaves you abandoned in solitude. I only mention this  because I was alerted to an article that described the sometimes tragic consequence of artists in different creative areas like singers who can fall foul of the creative torment and painters too, where the pressures lead to a lifestyle that takes them over the edge at a relatively young age. My sister Wendy was a good painter who lost her way in life and became a victim of a lifestyle that eventually led to her brutal death at the age of 31. That was 21 years ago but still haunts me each day, I remember hugging my sister for the last time, she had grown so thin and delicate like a little bag of bones and it was heart wrenching to feel in that hug what cruelty life had thrown at her. I was recently reminded of this When I saw images of Amy Winehouse and her delicate frame and scarred arms so reminiscent of my own sister and it brought the memories flooding back.


In my own life I sometimes feel overwhelmed and consumed by the creative moment, the feelings of exhilaration and uncertainty  can be  unsettling as you become lost, but with sculpture it  is then grounded with the physical reality of producing a three-dimensional work. It’s a balance that I have grown to depend on and one that gives me the freedom that I  need, I guess the conception of the idea is probably the most important part of the process and this is usually achieved through a period of thought and drawing where you establish your ideas. And it is this area where your boundaries are tested and pushed as far as you dare, like a cauldron where everything enters the mix and you discover exactly where you’re at and how far you are willing to go in the pursuit of artistic expression, whether you’re capable of breaking the mould and going bravely in your own direction or if you are held and constrained by convention and expectation. In fact this is the very area that I have transformed in my own life to gain my freedom as an artist, but it has taken a massive effort as I peeled away the layers of conditioning that suppressed my being. It was an orkward process but eventually through my attempts at an honest self-analysis I was able to see my life from a different perspective. It’s  a kind of forensic deconstruction of self and the only reason I felt I could only do this was because I knew I could feed my thinking into the physical realm of construction and sculpture which in turn would contextualise it into a manageable concept. occasionally people do ask my friends if Eoghan’s alright? because of my sudden explosion of ideas and writing and I would have to say that I’ve never been better, after all these years of quiet struggle I really have found my way but thank you for your concern. 😉 I enjoy sharing my thoughts and ideas which is why I’m an artist and it is my hope that some people will be touched in some way by my creative endeavour.

no22The technical intricacy of preparing a ceramic horse for firing

As an artist I have always felt a level of vulnerability as I’ve pursued my creativity, there are no rules and often you explore matters that lead into uncomfortable areas of human existence where there are no real answers just more questions and it doesn’t get any easier with age other than that you can depend on returning to safe ground. Age is a funny thing because with it comes the unavoidable baggage of expectations that we all carry and as a bit of a maverick you can feel abandoned in the abyss with nothing to hold on to. It’s my maverick status that has been at the centre of my life because I wanted to produce the art of a free man away from the associated dogmas of the art world and in a way this has worked though the price has been that I have had little support or encouragement outside of my circle of friends and family. So now as I move on after a wobble it is with a renewed determination that I will see my struggle through and continue to produce work that I am proud to put my name on. Life has tested and pushed me to some great depths and at times, got close to swallowing me up but each time I have fought my way back through my art, I’ve managed to hold on to my humanity and compassion at times by a single thread but enough to see me through. My only prosperity has been in my creative achievements which is enough  because through it all I have followed my dream and my character has withstood the test.NO12

However over the last few years I was guilty of letting my guard down and allowing people to influence my thinking and reacting to those cage rattlers out there. Trying to jump through all the hoops led me to the depths of despair and a low point in my life which I’ve managed to turn it into a positive experience because it’s catapulted me into a whole new area and gave me the launch pad to do it. A kick up the backside is what I needed to make me dig deeper and find my missing mojo and now some 18 months into a period of change there is no let up in the ever-present feeling s of inspiration and excitement. The superficial side to my nature is still in hibernation as I continue to remain focused on my art and now that I feel I have surpassed my expectations the possibilities seem endless. As an occupation it’s a real slow burner and historically sculptors have been slow to mature, I guess some things just don’t really change.

Butt Flip

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