For the first decade of the 2000s much of my work was in ceramic, I made ritual vessels in my studio and I worked on large scale ceramic and cement play sculptures for schools and public places. It began with a project in the Glen Park in 2005 when I propose a kind of beautiful /graffiti project for the community to leave their mark in the park. I worked with local schools and community groups and we bought a kiln which was housed in the basement of the local church. Our workshops revolved aroung sharing stories and doodling elements form these stories onto tiles, pretty much as a ceramic “tag” there were names of heros and names of friends there were pictures of fairies and caterpillars, people from the age of 4 to the age of 60+ took part. One visiting young woman from Liverpool suggested we create the form in the shape of a yin yang sign to celebrate and promote Peace and understanding. We did this and it has become known locally as “the Snake”.
Yin Yang the Glen aka The Snake appears as a Magic Healing Garden portal in a game app Harry Potter:Wizards Unite.
later I propsed a similar play sculpture for a school in Enniscorthy. The whole school worked on the project, we talked all about Vinegar Hill and what it meant to each of us. There were many historic scenes that involved pikes and battles and also many prosaic ones about falling down and grazing a knee or jumping into puddles. We had fun with the Irish Cnoc Fiodh na gCAor and I was fascinated to find out that the original from anglicised Vinegar meant the Goat’s Wood, and so we made a tree for our stories.
In Spiddal I worked with a gaelscoil, the commission was to celebrate the coming together of the girls and the boys national schools of Scoil Éinne and so we worked with meanings arising from our names, sometimes these were translations and others they were ideas from our parents. The shape was based on an S and an E , the E forming the top pool of the passive water system which collected rain water for the school garden, and overflowed over the tiles into the outlet at the bottom.
I was shortlisted to make murals for a retirement home and I used the mineral colour palette from old majolica tiles – cobalt, copper, iron, and tin using imagery based on tattoos, pets and indiginous animals, thinking about a sailors arm and travel far and wide and of home. I liked the way the pieces flowed together, but I didn’t win the commission.
I was invited to work with a local secondary school on a mural to celebrate their yellow flag. We made tiles based on flags to celebrate all 15 different countries represented in the school and explored other ideas around the iconic imagery found in flags. The whole piece came together as a school flag with a big chocolate donut in the middle.