2008
Carbon fibre, Epoxy resin
480 x 595 x 244 cm
Edition of 3

O’Connell’s work is often informed by the austerity of minimalism as well as the uncomplicated shapes of ring forts from her native Ireland. Loop draws upon the simplicity and scale of these forms to dispel their foreboding nature.

Loop exemplifies the liberties O’Connell has been able to take with her new sculptures constructed in carbon fibre; a material that has allowed her to develop entirely new forms free from the constraints of her sculptural constructions in steel. Loop was initially inspired by the form of a type of wave, known as ‘the barrel’, in which the top travels faster than the bottom; a fluidity O’Connell would have been unable to capture in steel. The notion of enclosure and protection at the heart of Loop make reference to a womb–like shape. For O’Connell, the womb represents a vessel rather than a sexual organ. The womb provides a personal, tangible shift from open to closed space that nurtures and succours the life within. This is a strong theme found in Sheela–na–gigs, ancient figurative carvings of naked women displaying exaggerated vulvas. Sheela–na–gigs are found throughout castles and churches in Ireland and Britain and are thought to have been used to ward off evil spirits and death. Loop replicates the simplified form of the exaggerated vulva in the Sheela–na–Gig carvings, to produce a form that is both delicate and protective despite its dominating scale.

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About The Artist

O’Connell explores a plethora of materials and processes in her work. She hoards found objects such as discarded agricultural tools and dairy vessels, which may eventually find their way into her sculpture or become an inspiration for a form or texture. She teases the most extraordinary forms out of various materials, from stone and rubber to steel cord, sheet metals, glass and plaster for casting in bronze. O’Connell looks to archaeology, architecture and geometry, in addition to smaller objects and materials, for beginnings to both her large and small works. Recently she has begun to use fibreglass, usually reserved for building yachts and boats, in order to create graceful organic shapes, reminiscent of natural forms and familiar objects. O'Connell has long held an interest in forms that confound the natural and artificial. The refined, yet, organic shapes of imatra stones and concretions— geologic structures often confused with fossils—are often used as the departure point for her sculptures. Imatra stones often develop over centuries when minerals precipitate within rock cavities or build up around a nucleus such as a pebble or shell and evolve into a tacked disc shape. O’Connell is fascinated by such complex natural processes, which exist on a minute scale, and which she magnifies to provide a new perspective on their usually negligible existence. .

Eilís O'Connell

Born: 1953

Other Artworks by Eilís O'Connell at CASS

2008

Conetwirl

Conetwirl is part of O'Connell's series Biomorphia. This was the most complex of all of the works produced for this seri…

2008

Curve to Point

Curve to Point is a work that plays with historical and contemporary notions of formalism. The notions of opposition and…

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