Michael Ray creates one-off vessels, free-standing sculptural pieces and architectural panels in glass. The sea is a significant influence in Ray’s work, with a particular focus on the microscopic organisms that inhabit it, invisible to the human eye. His current body of work explores diatoms: single cell phytoplankton encased in a wall of silica, the main glass-forming agent. Diatoms occur virtually everywhere water is found and play an important role in the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen. Ray’s objects reflect their variety, translucency and textural qualities.
Working with layered sheet glass and cullet, he casts the material into metal and ceramic moulds several times until the required movement has occurred. He then grinds the surface to reveal the internal structure created in the casting process. The glass is kiln-formed into ovoid or spherical shapes, and then cut and polished.
Ray’s glass forms are intended as a metaphor for the dialogue between what we see and what goes on beneath the surface, outside the range of human perception.
Ray graduated in 2008 with an MA in Glass from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He is currently based in West Cork.
Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland
National Museum of Ireland
McCann FitzGerald, Dublin
|2011||Crafts Council of Ireland Purchase award|
|2007||Development award Cork County Council|
|2006||Prizewinner National Crafts Competition|
Group Exhibitions and Fairs
|2012||Elements, Sheng Ling Gallery Shanghai, Engaging with Glass, Travers Gallery, Tacoma, USA|
|2011||Engaging with Glass, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Illuminate Contemporary Irish Glass, The Kenny Gallery, Galway|
|2010||Generation, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Through the Looking Glass, Cill Rialaig, Co. Kerry|
|2009||Organic Geometry, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Masters Show, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Reflexivity, Cambridge Gallery, UK, Visions in Glass, Jerpoint Gallery, Kilkenny, Glasshaus IV, Parndon Mill Gallery, Essex, UK|
|2008||Side by side, Hunt Museum, Limerick, SOFA Chicago, USA|
|2007||Seomra, Sema Gallery, Paris, France|
|2006||St Patrick’s Presence, Leicester Square, London, UK, Collectors Event, Hunt Museum, Limerick; National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny|
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