Michelle Hickey is a visual artist and maker and balances her art practice between her native Shannon and Doolin in North Clare. She is a recent Graduate from the Limerick School of Art and Design (TUS) where she completed her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Fine Art (Sculpture and Combined Media). Recent exhibitions include: Behind Closed Doors, the Hidden Truths (Group exhibition, Clare Haven 2021/22); LSAD Artists on Display (The Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick 2021); RALLY: LSAD Graduate Showcase 2021 (Online); MIXTAPE: LSAD Video Installation & Performance Group Exhibition, South Tipperary Art Centre, 2020.
Michelle mainly works in abstract form and the subject matter influences the type of medium she uses and the outcome of her work. She finds beauty in repetition and aims to develop a tacit knowledge of materials by working with them intuitively and embracing their tactile qualities. Her monochromatic floral paper relief sculptures were influenced by wild flower gardens and botanicals typically grown in Irish gardens. Her process involves intricate paper die cutting techniques and hand moulding the elements of each flower by joining them together as a form of solidifying and capturing a moment of fragility, a relic of that moment. The delicate and labour intensive sculptural act mimics the care and time of nurturing the natural plant through its stages of growth. The notion of ‘craft’ is both embraced and challenged by the work as the flowers are
presented in raw, white paper rather than biological matter. The flowers and foliage remain in stasis, thereby focusing not on the decorative function but on the repetitive engagement with the material existing across a fragile surface. Suspended in time, preserving them at a moment of change are removed from the threat of decay but incapable of growth without the artist’s hand.
Title: Gairdín Éireannach (An Irish Garden) 2022
Dimensions: 90cm x 90cm
Medium: Paper on paper, mixed media, wooden frame, non-reflective glass (museum glass).