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Photo by William Croall Photography



Fiona Byrne is an Irish artist, educator and writer living and working in Switzerland. 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 Contemporary Glass Society (UK), Pittsburgh Glass School scholarship programme (USA), Friends of Northlands Funding (UK) and received a Future Makers Award from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (IRE). She was recently shortlisted for the 2021 Golden Fleece Awards, one of ten finalists.


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.

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In my practice I question how to navigate knowing and 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. Each has its own legitimacy in its time, culture, context, and yet all require a leap of acceptance. My artwork and research explore how we value different types of knowing, and the areas where connection with bodies of knowledge is lost. 


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.

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