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Etaoin O’Reilly’s exhibition ‘The Thriving Flower’ in An Táin Arts Centre next week

Etaoin O’Reilly’s exhibition  ‘The Thriving Flower’ in An Táin Arts Centre next week

An Táin Arts Centre’s Visual Artist in Residence, Etaoin O’Reilly, will launch her residency exhibition and open studio ‘The Thriving Flower’ next week.

The exhibition will run until Saturday September 26th and will feature an ‘Artist Talk’ on Wednesday September 23rd at 7pm where Etaoin will be in conversation with Paul Hayes talking about her work.

Etaoin’s current practice explores the fading industry and skills of bone china factory workers.

This exhibition of new work originates with the flower makers of Stoke-on-Trent. Since the 1970s, these highly skilled craftspeople have created the most amazingly intricate bone china flowers. Sadly – with flowers having fallen out of fashion – as the flower makers are lost to history, so too are their skills.

Etaoin now takes on the mantle of preserving this craft, believing there is a responsibility to pass the skill on to the next generation. As a nod to time-honoured industry, the artist forms her work around the traditional; teapots, vases, jugs and plates. However, not all is as it seems, and hand-built flower creatures burst forth from the familiar. Just as nature thrives when given the chance, so too will the next generation of artists and makers.

“When I was studying pottery, I attended the British ceramics biennial, while I was there, I became fascinated by the work of Neil Brownsword. The piece was called ‘Factory’.

“It highlighted a very interesting topic of the bone china flower makers fading away. I think it is critical in ceramics to pass on our skills to the next generation.”