Elaine Harrington

Short Biog

As a ceramic artist I use found and natural materials to explore how we connect to our environment through material choices. This journey to discover source materials in the landscape becomes an integral part of my making, in the experience of place, materials used, and aesthetic of each piece.

Recent projects have considered work in a larger ecological sense, through our impact on the landscape and environment, or on a micro-level, through individual acts of making and how they might carry through to the larger community, exploring site-specific, event-based, and participatory/collaborative works, and objects as material & cultural documents. Current series of works are focused on experiential making & ideas of embodied landscape, using native, local materials to create multi-layered responses to place, reflecting the seasonal changes, human impacts, and underlying geology of an area.

Elaine Harrington is an Irish ceramic artist based in Dublin. She is a graduate of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s Ceramics Skills & Design Course, and holds an MA in Ceramics from Cardiff School of Art & Design (UK) and an MSc in Interactive Digital Media from Trinity College Dublin. She has exhibited nationally & internationally, and received funding & awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Ireland, Creative Europe MEDIA, and DCCI FutureMakers, and most recently was selected for DCCI’s Portfolio 2021-2022 and shortlisted for the International KOGEI Award in Toyama 2020 (JP).

She was the 2018-20 Parity Studios Artist-in-Residence at UCD College of Science (IRL), exploring geoscience and the transformation of earth materials in ceramics, and ecology of making in material practice. Previous residencies include Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre (DK), TorinoFilmLab (ITA, FRA, FIN), the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (IRL), Road Book’s Garravagh Eco-Project (IRL), and the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (UK).

She has worked on numerous collaborative art, education and public engagement projects and commissions, and recent projects include an archaeological and contemporary ceramics skills-sharing and research initiative with UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology & Material Research (CEAMC) supported by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and Creative Ireland, and a collaborative geoscience engagement through art project developed with the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG).

Ongoing research explores the mining & mineral heritage of Ireland, and investigates tailings, waste and byproducts from excavation & extraction industries for use in ceramics processes, and bio colour & native pigments for ceramics & printmaking. Current projects include the continuing Place : Making interdisciplinary project – a creative exploration of our connection to landscape through the journey of making, from material to object, food to table, process to ritual, and how communities evolve through shared activity and resource networks.

She is currently developing an interdisciplinary art, music & geology project exploring deep time & place-making, to create a series of collaborative, site-responsive works for public performance and installation in 2022-23, supported by the Arts Council and iCRAG.


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