Category Archives: Sculpture

Quilt Comfort


Quilting in my book requires time, space and a bucket load of patience. An eye for colour, pattern and placement all contribute to a completed work of art. A finished piece can bring comfort and love for many years. The quilt below brings a different kind of comfort

Comfort quilt_1

Comfort quilt_1

Comfort Quilt’ 2006
Ceramic artist: Diane McCormick

It is a ceramic wall-based work, by Diane McCormick  the ceramic artist from County Tyrone for Marie Curie Cancer Care Hospice, Belfast. The link above to her website gives the background to the Quilt. It was commissioned by Marie Curie Cancer Care supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland


Comfort quilt_2

A closer look

Hand made ceramic tiles, mono printed with ceramic colours and glazes. Multiple fired to build up layers of colours and textures. It measures 2m x 1.8m on the theme of Marie Curie history

Alternative theraphy

Alternative therapies

depicting some of the alternative therapies available to the patients.

Comforting words

Comforting words


Daffodils often used as a Fundraising symbol


These sections cover some of the fundraising efforts. Sponsored walks and cycling. The engagement ring was a rather special donation: At one of the early meetings when funds were needed to build this hospice a lady present removed her engagement ring and placed it on the table, offering it as a gift to be auctioned for the fund.



The border strips include symbols to represent the research work of Marie Curie.

The Log Cabin Quilt, which this design is based on, is associated with the home, with light and dark strips of cloth around a central square which represents the heart of the home (Marie Curie nurses come into the home to help care for patients).

This design is made in clay tiles of various sizes, printed and patterned to resemble material and quilting. Each square panel incorporates a central motif to show aspects of the history of Marie Curie, the work done in the Marie Curie units and research into the causes and cures for cancer. Strips around each motif have patterns, textures, words and sayings to illustrate the central panel. Uplifting proverbs and written words (from patients and staff) are printed in this area to give comfort to patients, staff and family. The panel is surrounded by a border of daffodils.

Diane McCormick graduated in 1988 from the University of Ulster with a first class Degree in Fine Craft Design. Since then she has had pieces commissioned for numerous hospitals, a restaurant, a bus station, shops, an arts centre, a church, a major charity, arts awards and a museum as well as many private clients.

Since 1991 she has exhibited at trade fairs in Ireland and the UK supplying numerous shops and galleries with her quirky and colourful ceramics. Her work is in the collections of the Ulster Museum and has been presented to musicians, politicians and heads of Church. She and her husband Martin, are now concentrating their art skills in public and private commissions and selling their unusual ceramic and wood pieces from their studio in Co. Tyrone as well as making pieces for exhibition.

Each public art commission is designed specifically for the enjoyment of the users of the building often with references to the history of the site or with input from the staff or patients as a major influence.

The Listening Lady

The Listening Lady _1

The Listening Lady _1

Sculpture: The Listening Lady ~ Bronze
Sculptor: David Annand

The Listening Lady is in the memory of Geraldine Roberts who died of cancer.

The work of art formed part Marie Curie’s Living Rooms Appeal project and received a significant donation from Bangor woman Muriel Roberts, whose daughter Geraldine, was cared for at the hospice before her death from cancer in January 2006. the Listening Lady is a peaceful resting place for patients and visitors at the Marie Curie Cancer Care Hospice, Knock Road, Belfast.

The Listening Lady _3

The Listening Lady _3

Geraldine was such a great listener and a very warm person so the name of the sculpture is a tribute to her very nature – The Listening Lady even wears a pendant with Geraldine’s initials, GR.

The Listening Lady _4

The Listening Lady _4

The seat is also inscribed with a short poem penned by the late Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney.


Still yourself, take time, be at rest.
Enter the circle, unalone, a guest.
Seamus Heaney

David Annand describes his work as:

My work has grown out of a tradition of figurative representation exploiting the plasticity of clay. It deals with vitality, balance, gravity and irony. It is very important that my work should remain accessible to everyone i.e. realistic human or animal subjects, observed and modelled with discipline, set in a slightly incongruous composition, using the site as a plinth and often involving an abstract element in the composition. Think of a Richard Thompson song. It can be sentimental or traditional but then it is spiked with a guitar solo that is so abstract it is at the very edge of the genre. I wish I could achieve this in my sculpture. Everything is abstract. Looking back at my sculpture you`d think I am obsessed with giving gravity a hard time and taking my materials to the limit. It`s easy enough to make life-like sculptures, but, by nudging them off balance, in an awkward place – it makes them vulnerable, precarious; they get an urgency to be alive.

Who made the world

Who made the World_1

Who made the World_1

Cé a dhein an domhan?
Who Made The World ~ Cast Bronze
Sculptor ~ Cliodna Cussen

On my way to the Craft Beer & Cider Festival in Dublin’s RDS, last week, I discovered this beauty outside The Herbert Park Hotel.

Cliodna Cussen was born and educated in Co. Limerick. She attended third level education in Dublin and Florence and is presently based in Dublin and Kerry.

She works as a full-time sculptor using mostly bronze and stone.

Cliodna does graphic work in the Graphic Studio Dublin and she also illustrates and publishes Irish Children’s Stories.
She has exhibited widely and won a number of awards for her work, including the Listowel Gold Medal for sculpture and the sculpture prize at the Oireachtas.


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Do you think They found the answer?

Market Day


Haggling for a price

Haggling for a price

Market Day ~ Granite
Sculptor Barry Wrafter

A €40,000 sculpture depicts a market scene and sits in the centre of the market area in Ennis , County Clare. It involves two 7.5ft farmers haggling over the price of a 6ft granite cow.

Barry Wrafter spent 18 months sculpting the piece. ‘Market Day’ forms the latest piece of the Ennis Sculpture Initiative that has resulted in sculptures being dotted around the Clare town.

Patience is a virtue

In April 2012, I shared a piece of sculpture that I found in Dublin. I called it a mystery hand. At the time I was unable to discover any information about the work or of the sculptor.

The sculpture stands in the grounds of the Department of Education, in front of Tyrone House in Marlborough Street, Dublin.
Last week I discovered the correct title and the name of the sculptor.

The Wishing Hand

The Wishing Hand

The Wishing Hand ~ Bronze
Sculptor ~ Linda Brunker.

Linda Brunker was born in Dublin, Ireland.
She studied at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin and received a degree in Fine Art, Sculpture – 1988 & a Diploma in fine art, Sculpture – 1987.

The Bronze Wishing Hand is solid and impressive at 63 x 110 x 55 inches. Almost inviting the viewer to climb up and curl into the open palm.

Almost an invitation

Almost an invitation


In some of her sculptures she resists the solidity of bronze, creating spaces which open up the pieces, letting air and light flow through them. The female form is delicately conjured out of leaves that appeared to be blown into shape by the wind. They have the feeling of being accidental, transitory or momentary. This sense of lightness is enhanced by their overall compositional structure, where the entire piece is often balanced on a single point. There is a sense of nature in the way they have been composed into flowing shapes which echo the rhythms of wind, fire and water.

Linda says:

“My work comes from a place where art, science, nature and the human spirit meet…..”

Her bronze sculptures have been exhibited in Ireland and abroad and are present in several private and corporate collections. She has received several awards. You can check out her other works in the link above.

How now bronze cow

In the past I wrote about visiting a church and having fun. At another time I told you about going to confession, when for my penance I drank the black stuff…

Last week I was back in The Church and came away refreshed. 😉 Elly came to meet me and we walked round the area at the back of the building. It was at one time a very popular graveyard for the dearly departed members of St. Mary’s parish, a large and wealthy congregation.

By the 1940s, the large churchyard was being used as a playground, with the tombstones being removed to the further end of the yard. It was de-consecrated in April 1966, the Church of Ireland sold the graveyard to Dublin Corporation which later developed the site now known as Wolfe Tone Memorial Park. Why Wolfe Tone? Theobald Wolf Tone – United Irishmen Founder was baptised in St Mary’s Church, in 1763.

The park’s feeling of openness, perhaps because it is unfenced and accessible and allows for unimpeded shortcuts between the busier nearby streets, yet it maintains a separate identity from the paths on either side. An urban space with a variety if hard surfaces, which includes a large gravel area adorned with a cow.

How now bronze cow

How now bronze cow

City Cow ~  Bronze
Sculptor ~ Jackie McKenna.

The Healing Tree ~ Part 2

Long time regular readers will recall my series of weekly sculpture posts. I love sculpture and enjoy researching the results of the pieces I find on my walks and journeys through the year. For new readers, you may find these posts in the category drop down over in the sidebar, under Sculpture.

On Thursday last, I had a comment from Brian Connolly, a sculptor, whose work I have featured several times. His comment this time was addressed to Alice at My Wintersong, in relation to his piece The Healing Tree.

The Healing Tree

The Healing Tree

The Healing Tree.

Alice’s Comment:

That would look super in my garden. What do you s’pose they’d take for it? All kidding aside, art that makes you think about it and remember it has already accomplished. Who cares about utility.

Brian’s reply:

Alice I know you commented a long time ago, but your instinct is very close to the reality of the artwork’s development! The original idea was for a private garden and I had proposed to cast the family around a tree. The idea was too radical for the father and I did not get the commission at that time!…. but it did lead to this artwork for the Antrim Area Hospital!
Brian Connolly


Perhaps it is a timely reminder to lift the lid on the topic Sculpture once more. I like to take the photos myself, even though they may not be of as high a standard as Barbara, my niece at Day One or Ed Mooney at EdMooneyPhotography.

I do have two pieces in my camera, both taken on my last visit to Dublin at the beginning of February. My brother took me out for coffee to Kildare on a dreary dull day. The torrential rain obliged only long enough for me to take a few photos.

It has been a dark & miserable winter and I long for better weather and permission to get behind the wheel again to sally forth on my voyages of discovery.

Con Houlihan

Con Houlihan

Con Houlihan

Con Houlihan ~ Bronze
Sculptor ~ Unknown to me.

Con Houlihan was one of Ireland’s premier sportswriters. He was often described as ‘writer, journalist, philosopher, raconteur, Gaelic scholar and gentleman, he entertained his readers with some fantastic writing.

Con looks like a man with a thirst!

Con looks like a man with a thirst!

This sculpture was erected in the vestibule of The Bank Bar & Restaurant on College Green, in Dublin.

Bank Bar & Restaurant

Bank Bar & Restaurant

In a brief eulogy at the end of the funeral service, Ray Hennessy, a friend of the journalist, described Con Houlihan (1925 – 2012) as:

A sculptor of language” who was “sensitive, compassionate, humourous, sometimes extremely funny, courteous, with perfect manners.”

He recalled a comment he made when unable to locate a book of poetry by Gerald Manley Hopkins after a cleaning lady had done her work, “you know, if that woman worked in Trinity College she’d throw out the Book of Kells”.

On another occasion, when Kerry unexpectedly beat Dublin in football he was asked how his friend Harriet, a dedicated Dublin supporter, was taking it, “Con replied ‘House private. No flowers’.”

There was no signature or sculptor’s name on the work and I have been unsuccessful in my search for further information.

Old Oak

Old Oak

Old Oak

Old Oak ~ Bronze
Sculptor ~ Michael McWilliams

I found this piece last July, as I wandered through the Westbury Mall adjacent to the Westbury Hotel, just off Grafton Street in Dublin.

Old oak_2Michael McWilliams was born and educated in Dublin. He has been working as a professional artist for 30 years. He works from his studio on the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.

Old oak_3

While his main interest is landscape painting, using a palette of tones and hues inspired by nature, he also works with bronze focusing mainly on the human form.

Old oak_4

His works are in various corporate and private collections in Ireland and abroad.