Teasel, Exposed Interior

Porcelain, Ming and paperclay, 57x28x28cm
Photographer, Sylvain Deleu


Banksia, Dynamic

High Fired Unglazed Porcelain, 33x38x38cm
Photographer, Sylvain Deleu


Nuala O’Donovan

Nuala O’Donovan’s ceramic sculptures explore patterns found in nature and fractal geometry. The ability of living organisms to respond to changes in their systems, and to subsequently recover, adapt and grow, is a central theme in her work. O’Donovan uses the characteristics of irregular fractal patterns in nature as constraints or guidelines when making decisions about her forms: patterns are regularly irregular, patterns and forms are self-similar; the pattern records a response to random events during the making process. Her pieces are constructed slowly over a period of weeks or months. Each element is built individually by hand. The finished forms are the result of an intuitive response to the direction the pattern takes. By using the characteristics of fractal geometry, the finished piece – although resolved, still retains a sense of potential change.  O’Donovan aims to evoke the transitory quality of living organisms, combining past, present and future.

O’Donovan completed a BA in Three Dimensional Design at Middlesex University, UK in 1994. In 2008, she received an MA in Ceramics from Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork.

Selected Awards

2011 Golden Fleece Award, Merit Prize
2010 1st Prize Contemporary Ceramics, RDS National Crafts Competition, Dublin
2010 Ceramics Ireland Award
2010 Allianz Business to Arts Award, Commissioned Artist
2010 Golden Fleece Award, Shortlist
2010 Crafts Council Of Ireland Purchase Award
2009 1st Prize Contemporary Ceramics, RDS National Crafts Competition, Dublin
2009 Ceramics Ireland Award
2009 Annual Irish Ceramics Award, Millcove Gallery, Co. Cork
2008 Crafts Council of Ireland / Irish Arts Review Emerging Maker Award
2006-2008 CIT Post-Graduate Scholarship / Research Award

Selected Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions and Fairs

2013 Future Beauty?, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
2012 dubh – dialogues in black, The American Irish Historical Society, New York, USA
2011-2012 Craft in the 21st Century, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, transFORM, Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin
2011 Ceramic Art London, RCA Galleries, London, UK, Perceptions of Contemporary Craft – selected by Nuala O’Donovan, Lavit Gallery, Cork, MATERIALpoetry, Galway Arts Festival, Eunique Applied Arts Fair, Karlsruhe, Germany, Irish Craft Portfolio, National Craft Gallery and Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin, S’Herthogenbosch Applied Arts Fair, Zelligman Gallery, The Netherlands RHA Annual Exhibition, Dublin, Talking in Clay, Herefordshire Centre for the Arts, UK, SOFA West, Santa Fe, USA, On Repeat, Flow Gallery, London, UK, SOFA New York, USA
2010 COLLECT, Saatchi Gallery, London UK, Positive Space, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork, Ceramic Art London, RCA Galleries, London, UK, MATERIALpoetry, The American Irish Historical Society, New York, USA, Irish Craft Portfolio, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny; Kenny Gallery, Galway; Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin





Contact Details:

Nuala O’Donovan
71 Summerhill North
St. Lukes

T. +353 87 6413651