Nuala O’Donovan makes sculptural pieces based on the geometry of natural forms by combining regular pattern with the characteristics of fractal forms from nature. The finished forms are a result of an intuitive response to the direction that the pattern takes as well as the irregularity in the handmade elements of the pattern. Her work explores the contrasts and similarities between traditional Western aesthetics, which sought to portray beauty through the use of classical geometry in the proportions of the work, and Eastern/Buddhist aesthetics of beauty, which celebrates the irregularities and transitory beauty of nature.
Both traditions aspire to portray the beauty of natural forms through the use of pattern and geometry and O’Donovan develops her work based on her research into these rich histories.
The sculptural forms are constructed slowly over a period of weeks or months and each piece is unique. The works are all based on drawings of living forms from nature and are named to refer to the source.
O’Donovan’s work has been exhibited internationally since 2008 when she completed an MFA at the Crawford College of Art in Cork, Ireland. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Golden Fleece Award 2019. Her work has been included in International Art and Design books and periodicals and has been acquired for the Collections of the National Museum of Ireland and The Ulster Museum in Belfast as well as many private collections internationally. She lives and works in Cork City, Ireland and is an elected member of Visual Artists Ireland and the Royal Society of Sculptors, U.K.