Maker Project - Thinking through practice

  Research Assistant / Maker

Krystyna Pomeroy

Mixed Media Applied Artist

‘In both her
two and three
dimensional work
two elements
develop in tandem,
the design and the

Born in Wiltshire, England and for the past twenty years living in the west of Ireland, Krystyna Pomeroy is a self-taught artist best known for her pared down animal and bird forms.

While her mother and grandmother handed down the skills of sewing, knitting, crochet and embroidery, her father, a machine engineer, taught her how to use tools such as a screwdriver, saw and hand drill.

Coming across a book on Japanese prints at the age of 14 began a life-long love of all Japanese art forms. After attending Redland Teacher Training College in Bristol, Krystyna alternated working in education with periods of creative practice. Since the 1980’s she has participated in group shows. Recent ones have included ‘Crafted Creatures’ at the Ark in Dublin and several ‘Form’ outdoor sculpture exhibitions.

For the past twenty years she has run her own studio in Co. Clare, selling paper sculptures through galleries in Ireland and the U.K. as well as commissioned pieces world-wide. She has taught workshops in Ireland and the U.S.A.

Not surprisingly for someone who grew up in a household where ‘making things’ was normal, Krystyna has worked with a range of media that includes textiles, clay, metal and paper, often combining several materials in one piece of work. In 2010 a chance comment by a sculptor friend led to having work cast in bronze. This wide variety of experience has led to commissions for 9ft tall parade puppets, making costumes and props for films, creating shadow puppet performances and life-size ram sculptures, among others.

Some of her inspiration and ideas come from simply turning up and playing around; some from the simple need to pay the bills; from “what will sell?” The exquisite shape of a horse’s fetlock or the slope of a hare’s forehead can be the starting point for a sculpture. An image can be mentally filed away and years later connect with another image and an idea is born. Krystyna will also freely admit that sometimes she has no idea what connections led to a piece of work. At times an idea hovers, vaguely visualised for many months before becoming clear enough to be created.

Collaboration can also yield unexpected outcomes and lead to new directions. In both her two and three dimensional work two elements develop in tandem – the design and the construction. Initial sketches regularly turn into annotated “how to” plans, although invariably some of the “how?” has to work itself out in the making. Not everything works out; some things are abandoned.

Major influences are the spareness of Etruscan and Cycladic sculptures , the work of ceramicist Hans Coper, American Primitive folk crafts and 1950’s graphics. A frequent feature of her own work is the reduction of a subject to the essentials.

Current work includes a series of multi-media pieces for a future exhibition, along with bird forms strongly influenced by mid-century design.

Krystyna is working collaboratively with Rachael Singleton for the Maker Project.

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