Sculptor Nuala Early at the opening of her first solo show 'LABOUR OF LOVE’ at Droichead Arts Centre. Photo: Jenny Matthews.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the opening of Nuala Early’s first solo exhibition last night at Droichead Arts Centre but I certainly intend to go in for a look very soon. She’s a gentle and very lovely person and, judging by the catalogue her work reflects her personality.
“I see forms in nature that speak to me of the human condition” she says in the blurb. "I see something and have an immediate emotional connection, a spark is lit and I have to express what I see and feel.
“I started collecting avocados in all its forms, (skin, seed and body) and observing how they aged. ‘Twins’ is the first sculpture of this collection which was inspired by an avocado cut in half that had never ripened.
“I left it on my kitchen window sill to see how it would age and after some time it dried out and the seed had split in half. As I held it in my hand I suddenly realised this is how identical twins are created, same egg but split in half.
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“In my mind the dried up avocado and split seed had become a womb carrying identical twins and I knew I had to make a sculpture representing this.
‘Labour of Love’ is autobiographical, each of my sculptures tell a story and each story expresses an experience I had - as a pregnant woman, ‘Full of life’ and ‘Ready to Drop’ ; ‘Starting Out’ is about the intimacy and hope a couple feel when they are expecting their first baby, right through to separation and marriage breakup in ‘Reflection on Separation.’,
I love stone, I enjoy the process of carving and once I have removed the stone I don’t need and I am left with the basic form of the sculpture it is then I start to feel my way around the stone with my mallet, chisels and files creating the lines, flow and textures, that communicates the energy and feeling I want to express.
“And while I am doing this my thoughts and feelings are all about the person or experience I am trying to express. It is a slow process but allows me to bring a part of myself into the sculpture, it is a labour of love.”
I can’t wait to see these stone avocados of love, I hope you’re allowed to touch the exhibits because it all sounds very touchable.
This article was written by Andy Spearman