2018-05-30-2019-01-24 --- 2019-01-24 04:25:41--18
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LOT :71
Eilis O'Connell (b.1953)
Jut, 1995
Bronze laden resin, paint, 142 x 35 x 17 cm
Estimate EUR : €1,500.00 - €2,000.00
Auction Date : 30-05-2018


Eilis O'Connell (b.1953)
Jut, 1995
Bronze laden resin, paint, 142 x 35 x 17 cm

Provenance: From the Collection of the late John Hunt and thence by descent

Eilís OConnell was born in Derry in 1953. She studied at the Crawford School of Art in Cork from 1970 to 1974, at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston from 1974 to 1975 and again at Crawford School of Art from 1975 to 1977 where she received the only award for Distinction in Sculpture that year. Other awards followed, the G.P.A. Award for Emerging artists 1981, a fellowship at The British School at Rome 1983-1984 and a P.S.I. Fellowship for New York from the Irish Arts Council. While in New York she won a two-year residency at Delfina Studios in London and was based there until 2001.

From her London base she exhibited widely and won many public art commissions mostly in the UK. She received the Art and Work award for her sculptures at 99 Bishopsgate from the Wapping Arts Trust, and in 1998 she won a Royal Society of Arts Award. She has represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1982 and the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1985.

Robert OByrne in his Dictionary of Living Irish Artists has written A knowledge of Irelands pre-Christian culture provides a way into understanding the work of Eilís OConnell. As a child in County Donegal she was taken by her father to see the prehistoric ring fort known as Grianán of Aileach composed of four concentric stone walls. This place, and others like it she explained in 1993, were my first experience of sculpture, although it was only translated as art in my final year at college.

From childhood an inveterate collector of items like discarded agricultural implements, which she may later use in her work, her sources of inspiration are as eclectic as the materials she employs, She views experiments with new materials as a means of disinterring memories long-buried within herself, wrote Andrew Lambirth in October 1999, suggesting that OConnell was in some way treating herself as an archaeological site. While she has agreed much of her work derives its power from the strength and experience of the female body, OConnell denies she has ever been specifically concerned with exploring female gender. She objects strongly to a thinly veiled prescriptivism that would confine women to certain forms of sculptural practice, scale or orientation, wrote Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith in 1997, and preclude them from investigating others.

Her career to-date, in which she has successfully combined large-scale public commissions with smaller personal work, has precisely demonstrated her refusal to accept any external direction or constraint. OConnells exploration of material and form, like her interest in further engagement with new shapes, sizes, textures and methods, shows no sign of abating.

We are grateful to the artist and to John Daly of Hillsboro Fine Art for their assistance in cataloguing this lot.

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