Eilis O’Connell: Haptic

Exhibition Catalogue curated by Patrick T. Murphy with essay by Aidan Dunne.

Haptic refers to the sense of touch, in particular relating to the perception and manipulating of objects ( from the Greek haptikos able to touch, grasp, fasten onto )

Having worked in a rural location for the last five years, O’Connells work has profoundly changed, it appears less urban and relates more to the natural environment. O’Connell explains surrounded by fields and the activity of agriculture,,the urgency of growth fuels my imagination, After the growing season I collect dried out stalks and husks and they have become a new source of material in the studio.”

O’Connells work explores the combination of very high tech materials with organic detritus from the earth. In the large scale piece, Antennae stalks from the New Zealand Flax have been wrapped in glass cloth then saturated in resin. In the Found/Given series fragile items that O’Connell has collected or been given such as nests, pieces of coral, seed heads and sheeps skull have been cast in clear resin, to protect them.

Other works shown will include a series of bronzes titled Unlikely Monuments which explore ideas for potential large scale works. As O’Connell says “when I work on this scale I am always thinking big. I am interested in the physicality of sculpture, the act of walking around if gives it authenticity, the sense that it is part of the real world. Experimenting with new materials motivates me to find new ways to make things, yet the material I return to is always metal, bronze in particular for it’s resilience and timelessness.”

The forms that O’Connells sculptures take relate directly to the organic world, juxtaposed with the materials used, they give us a greater appreciation of our natural environment.




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