Eily O'Connell based in Co.Waterford. Eily has developed a unique selection of eerie, organic jewellery with an unconvetional treatment of silver. Various gem inclusions mixed with this raw flavour appeal to those seeking the unusual.
My thesis was about climate change and how art can illuminate ecological ruin. Due to my constant thinking and writing on this subject, my work evolved into highlighting genetic modification. It was a natural progression as I was marrying different species of plants and creatures to cast and it was a subject I was interested in emphasizing. The fact that it is a threat to our agriculture, our biodiversity and a possible risk to our health was important for me to voice. Henceforth, the thematic body of my work reflects on this matter.
I started collecting and exploring the organic qualities in the natural matter I foraged from my environment, wherein, I observed the decorative qualities of each subject and combined them to form new ‘Hybrids’. The found materials dictate these forms and through juxtaposition, I artfully connect disparate elements. However natural the assemblages look, things are not quite what they seem and I enjoy reactions when I tell people what some have been cast from (like my crab claws) or what is set in some pieces (like teeth). To me, all the interesting materials I collect are the real diamonds of the land and it is time that people realized how precious and magnificent nature is and that messing with it will never be a battle won by us.
Eily graduated from the National College of Art and Design with a first class honors degree last year and was awarded 'Undergraduate 2008' from the Crafts Council of Ireland. Since then, she has done a number of exhibitions at home and abroad including Tokyo, Holland and London. She has also been busy setting up a studio, 'Workhouse Studios' in Co. Waterford, where she is now based with two other jewellers and three glass artists.
Brooch - Silver with resin and citrine.
Ring - cast silver, oxidized with cold enamel and hand faceted glass.
A selection of brooches and rings from my growing collection of 'Hybrids'.
Cast, oxidized silver with amethyst.