Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

 

These incredible interlocking bronze forms are the work of renowned contemporary artist and light sculptor Niamh Barry. Her work, which often incorporates light, centres on ‘the line’ – its balance, movement and dynamism. Barry’s studio is based on the outskirts of Dublin and although the super sleek sculptures may seem at odds with her rural surrounds, she draws inspiration from the landscape with is rolling hills, swaying trees and vast sky.

Barry’s unique light sculptures and furniture are made from a wide range of materials including aluminium, porcelain, linen, mirror, acrylic, wood, bronze, and Murano glass. Her latest work features the more solid, substantial forms created from bronze, embedded lights and hand-cut glass. Each sculpture takes hundreds of hours of work and involves hand cutting thousands of glass pieces, as well as polishing and finishing bronze. Barry rarely uses moulds and one ring section of a sculpture could be made up of several pieces of bronze which are joined by hand. Her level of craftsmanship is truly unparalleled and is the result of over 20 years of perfecting these methods.

 

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

Contemporary Irish Artist & Light Sculptor Niamh Barry | Yellowtrace

 

Adopting a very hands on approach, the artist can be found in her studio working on over a dozen sculptures at once. Every piece starts with hand drawn sketches and is then explored through bronze maquettes before being constructed on a large scale. The process is slow, precise and labour intensive. The practice requires the help of several assistants and each process of welding, polishing, and chemical patination takes place in separate buildings. Barry explains that the process is intrinsic in her work where a “finished piece is a visual portrayal of that journey, its emotion, its struggle and its completion.”

Barry’s work is joyously energetic and alive with movement. Her ceiling and wall mounted pieces as well as her installations not only embody motion but canvass ideas of masculinity, suspended moments, gravitational interactions and interpersonal gestures. In the end it all comes back to the line and her exceptional body of work unquestionably brings it to life!

 

 


[Images courtesy of Niamh Barry & Todd Merrill Studio.]

 

About The Author

Fenina Acance
Contributor

Architecting away in Melbourne, Fenina is a shameless fashion, art and design fanatic who loves defying the relentless Melbournian uniform of black on black on black. Often spotted strutting a boisterous mix of pattern and colour, her eclectic love for the bold, raw and textured fuels her passion for design and contemporary art. When not indulging in Cy Twombly’s sensitive scribbles or Serra’s evocative sculptural forms, her love for everything Italian consumes the rest of her time. Whether it’s the language, design or food (especially food), Fenina is obsessed!

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