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Blurring the Edge Exhibition


Blurring the Edge: a new exhibition exploring the boundaries of what ceramic art can be.

“What is really interesting about this work is the notion of permanence. The creation of works that not only blur, but shatter our comfortable and familiar notion of the persistence of clay as we are confronted by objects that may endure but that also may alter, or even disintegrate over time. In this case material has not only been given primacy over the finished work, it has been given a powerful voice.” 

Frances McDonald, 2018

Blurring the Edge sets out to show how ceramic art can transcend our expectations in terms of its design and function, its history, the role of technology in its making, and even its permanence. The five participating artists are: Mike Byrne, Mary Nagle, Marcus O’Mahony, Mandy Parslow and Owen Quinlan.


Mike Byrne explores the jug form, which he sees as: “the archetypical domestic object. It has clearly defined components which allow me to play fast and loose with the elements, with other materials, and with ideas around more formal sculptural concerns.”

Mary Nagle’s small sculptures and assemblages evoke memory and imagined ritual. “My work differs from the other four artists in so far as clay is not the predominant material used,” she writes. “They are made from objects and materials both found and worked, natural and man-made, and inspired by the inherent aesthetic of the objects themselves.”

Marcus O’Mahony makes stoneware and porcelain vessels, wood-fired in an oriental style kiln. His inspiration comes from the ancient and modern tradition of ceramic art and his intention is to bring fresh perspective to this lineage.

Mandy Parslow uses fired clay to explore place, embodiment and temporality: “Ceramics, so often valued for its permanence, becomes temporary as primal forms, evolved from the place itself, make their slow return to that place.”

Owen Quinlan shows a new body of work, entitled Tessellate, which focuses on the repeat structure of the traditional ceramic process of tiling and uses the strengths of CAD technology – precision, efficiency, and speed of prototyping – to reinvigorate that staple tool of ceramic industry, the extruder!

Opening event at Flowerfield Arts Centre, Thursday 7th February, 7.30 pm – 9 pm.

Gallery talk by ceramist Alex Scott at Flowerfield Arts Centre, Thursday 14 February, 3 pm to 4 pm.

Exhibition Dates:

Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart, County Derry: Friday 8th February – Saturday 23rd March 2019.

The Hunt Museum, Limerick: Friday 23rd November 2018 – Sunday 20th January 1919.

Where: Flowerfield Arts Centre,
185 Coleraine Road,
BT55 7HU