First exhibited at the Sculpture in Context event at The National Botanic Gardens, Dublin in 2011, Surface Tension is an outdoor ceramic sculpture inspired by the science of bubbles & the Aurora Borealis.
It has since been featured at Sculpture at the Castle 2014 at Blarney Castle, Co. Cork.
The tension of the surface film of a liquid caused by the attraction of the particles in the surface layer by the bulk of the liquid, which tends to minimize surface area.
I find the science behind our ordinary lives intriguing. Take a simple soap bubble – it could not be more unassuming, even childlike, yet bubbles give us a highly sophisticated glimpse into the world of physics, mathematics and chemistry. Bubbles have more to do with molecules, geometry, minimal surface area, interference, light waves and surface tension than with child’s play.
Indeed, bubbles are a combination of two of my favourite things – spheres and water! No matter what shape initially a bubble has, it will always try to become a sphere and much like a bubble I too have a very strong affinity to water. My idea is to capture a moment in time where a group of newly formed bubbles might sit together to form a wonderful cluster of spheres.
How was it made?
Surface Tension is a hand-built and carved outdoor ceramic sculpture. Each of the spheres was hand-built and then carved using a sgraffito technique. The flow of the lines was inspired by the Aurora Borealis. It was constructed using a grogged crank clay body and was high fired in an electric kiln to 1260°C (Cone 8).
Studio Process & Installation
About ‘Sculpture in Context’
“As you weave your way through the garden, you will discover sculptures in the most unexpected and surprising places. Ranging in size and materials, these works of art represent the richly diverse character of Irish and International contemporary sculpture today.”
Sculpture in Context is the largest and most prestigious outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ireland. Established in 1985 by a group of sculptors, their aim was to work on behalf of fellow sculptors to provide space for exhibiting work of sculpture in venues outside of their normal gallery context.
Thirty years on and Sculpture in Context has gone from strength to strength. Since 2002, the show has made its home in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin which is annually transformed into a living art gallery.
Artists’ ingenuity, contemporary art and Mother Nature are wonderfully combined here and as the seasons change from summer to autumn, visitors are given a reason to return again and again to see the sculptures and the garden in ever changing conditions.
Sculpture receives a spectacular presentation in the Garden, which is laid out in a variety of settings including glasshouses, ponds and foliage – winding through the 50 acres of landscaped grounds. With over 160 sculptures, this is the most exciting outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ireland.
The show runs from the first week in September to the third week in October every year.
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