Cormac worked as an exploration geologist before settling outside Allihies on the Beara Peninsular in 1972. Following a time as a meditation instructor, he has worked as a full time artist since 1983. Aside from a childhood surrounded by the ceramics of the pioneer Irish ceramicists Grattan Freyer and John ffrench and the inspiration of his school art teacher Oisín Kelly, he is self-taught.
He values greatly the connection to his surroundings of mountain, sea, weather and wild things. In his work, he is interested mostly in the mental space of the creative process and the ability of a work of art to communicate this space.
As for the materials that he chooses, he loves clay for its tactile and hands-on quality, the uses of minerals to form and to colour glazes to mimic earth processes, and the unpredictability of the transformations that occur in great heat of the ceramic furnace.
The subject of the ceramics in the Hunt Museum is the childhood of Oisín, son of Fionn Mac Cumhaill, who was raised in the forest by his mother in the form of a deer. It is part of a series made during 2016 exploring ‘what is Irishness?’