Squareball

2008
Epoxy resin, Carbon fibre
104 x 143 x 123 cm
Edition of 3

Squareball is Inspired by a Japanese farmers’ attempts to grow cube–shaped watermelons for efficient packing. The Japanese farmers attempted to manipulate nature, in order to accommodate modern industry. O’Connell took on a similar challenge for both its formal and figurative possibilities. In Squareball, O’Connell examines the notion of ‘nature contained’, a concern which surfaces constantly in her work, as she finds repressed nature unsettling. In Squareball, a protruding point ruptures its otherwise hermetic seal. This symbol of germination and growth threatens to undermine the tense form of the work.

Squareball is the only piece from this series of works that O’Connell physically engaged with, personally carving its form out of carbon fibre. During this process, she was faced with the sheer futility of Squareball’s concept. Her attempts to literally produce a square ball, continuously resulted in a form that was more rounded than she desired, one that she worked to square off. It represents the simple, frustrating task of attempting to unify a problem and its solution.

Squareball, from its title to its construction, makes manifest the impossibility of merging a circle with a square. Its form only further frustrates the notion of combining these diametrically opposed shapes and ultimately reiterates the futility of attempting to control nature. O’Connell’s sculpture epitomises a contradiction in both terms and forms.

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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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