The Permanent Collections

Sculpture Collection

Sarah Ryan – Untitled


Ryan, Sarah

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ceramic pieces, dimensions variable (acquired by the gallery between 1993-98)


Sarah Ryan,

Born Co. Tipperary 1951; lived and worked in Cashel, Co. Tipperary; Studied at Limerick School of Art and Design; National College of Art and Design, Dublin; Exhibited: since 1983 extensively in Ireland; Minnesota, USA; Karlsruhe, Hamburg; Bergheim, Germany; Italy. Died November 1st 2000


“My works is very much influenced by the flora and fauna of the natural environment and how living things grow, metamorphose and regenerate.  Also the vessel or container form has particular attraction for me and as I look at this form as it is found in nature, e.g. seed pods, gourds shells pitcher plants, etc.  I try to reflect something of the sense of abundance, fruitfulness mystery, sensuality and organic growth of these natural receptacles.” Sarah Ryan,  circa 1990’s




variable dimensions

Purchase between 1993-1998


These works are essentially finger pots, not thrown, or coiled, but pushed and prodded into existence.  The forms are surreally organic. These creatures seem to want to keep their interiors a secret, their reasons for this hidden away under rich splendid surfaces where colours, textures, and patterns move in all directions.  These works have nothing to do with the grid thinking or the world of gridded existence that surrounds us and them.  All the variations that these forms take bring to mind the strict limits that Ryan works within, limits of size, scale, material and medium.  Logically there must be an end to what you can do within such restrictions.  But so far I have yet to find in her work a duplication.


Paul O’Reilly, Director/Curator of LCGA (1985-2000) text taken from Kingdom of Heaven catalogue, Selected Justapositions,  Old and New, Drawn from The Permanent Collection of Limerick City Gallery of Art,  catalogue published in 1999 – ISBN 0946846 413

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