Limerick, Ireland
Noreen Ramsay, As was, is now and will be, 2001, porcelain sculptures, glass and lead, 12 x 17 x 198 cm

Noreen Ramsay


In my work, ideas and materials interact to produce a series of pieces which are related to a strong central theme or concept. The results are hand-built ceramic sculptures which frequently incorporate other materials such as glass and metal. I primarily use porcelain for its lightness, purity of colour, and the play of light and shadow on the unglazed surface.

As was, is now and will be evolved from an initial exploration of a gateway. Gradually the emphasis moved to the transitional space crossed as you pass through a gate, from here to there. The movement from what was, to what is, to what will be, linked the piece to the concept of time. As was, is now and will be is a reflection on the speed at which time moves from the past, through the present, towards the future. The taut connecting thread rapidly cuts to the future. The pillars of the building blow like a curtain with the forward movement. This fragile building marks the fleeting present moment as the figure approaches its entrance. Paradoxically placing the figures frozen in the past, present and the future not only represents the fleeting nature of time, but also its eternal continuity – as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be…

I have used porcelain paper clay as a ceramic material. Its pure, light nature gives an almost surreal, dream-like quality which echoes the elusive nature of time. The porcelain figures add a human scale. This is important, as it is our personal relationship with the ongoing journey in time that is the key element in this work.

(Text: on the border of each other catalogue, 2003)

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