Photo by William Croall Photography
Fiona Byrne is an Irish artist, educator and writer. She trained at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and has a joint degree in glass and visual culture. She has been awarded funding from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust Awards and BLICKE Kultur Stadt Bern. She has exhibited internationally including showing her work in Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, France and the UK.
In addition to her artistic practice, she has worked extensively in the arts education sector. She has organised and led many exhibitions, events and workshops centred on the themes of engagement and process; examining the role of making in our society.
In my practice I question how we navigate uncertainty. I am interested in how different people have sought to understand the world: through religion and faith; through science and logic; through tacit skill and material; or through folklore and magic. How do we conceive of knowledge; what is valued and what is discarded? My artwork explores how beliefs and choices related to knowledge shape out perception of the world. It offers a space for reflection and reframing of our position. Simone Weil believes that at the moment we view a beautiful object we give up our imaginary position as the centre. The art object acting as a portal to another location or position, allowing the observer to see the world differently.
I create meditative forms which are an invitation to reconnect with how we understand the world. They are prompts, points of reference, beacons. My training is in the traditional craft techniques of glass, as a result I am closely connected to process and materiality. During the process of creating I embed tacit knowledge within the objects. The combination of material choice and meditative making time invested in each piece reflects the themes of the work, translating ideas into artefacts.