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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Fidelma Massey


Fidelma Massey

Fidelma Massey
Born 1956, in Dublin, Ireland.
Studied at School of Art, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, majoring in Fine Art/Sculpture.
Engaged in commercial ceramics until 1986; after which time she returned to her original interest in pure sculpture, working in bronze, mixed media and ceramics. She also makes drawings and stained glass.

Has shown work in many group exhibitions during that time: Royal Hibernian Academy, Sculpture in Context, Iontas, all in Ireland, and L’Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris.
Shows work regularly with a number of galleries including: The Millcove Gallery, Castletown Bear, West Cork, Sol Art and Designyard Galleries in Dublin; the Lavit in Cork, (all in Ireland), the Greenlane Gallery, Dingle (Ireland and Paris); Strassacker Gallerie, Sussen, Germany; Imagine Gallery in Suffolk, and The Biscuit Factory Gallery, Newcastle-on-Tyne, both in the U.K.
Solo shows 2006, 2007 and 2008 Greenlane Gallery, Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
She was awarded a E35,000 ‘Per Cent for Art Commission’ for Taobh na Coille Gaelscoil, Belarmine, Kilternan, Co Dublin, Ireland, in 2009.
Her work is included in ‘Irish Ceramics’ (Irish ceramic sculpture) by John Goode, to be published this year.


When it comes to being creative, there are two types of people, those who work in groups, bouncing ideas off one another and talking as they go and those who prefer to work alone, planning their creative moves in their heads and beavering away quietly.
Irish sculptor Fidelma Massey admits she is definitely the latter. Her work, however, is anything but silent.
A graduate of the Dun Laoghaire School of Art where she majored in Fine art sculpture, Massey originally specialised in commercial ceramics before returning in 1986 to her original interest: pure sculpture.
Massey is not known for a “shrinking violet” approach to design. Her proudly individual creations stand out in a climate where play-safe tactics dominate and where repetition of design in commonplace.
Massey’s work invites the viewer to enter a world of alchemical transformation. Her sculptural pieces are personal in the sense of them being very much the product of an individual vision, yet also universal in that they explore mythical themes and draw images from deep in the unconscious. “I want my viewers to be uplifted, to have their imagination stirred and to be surprised into a sense of wonder,” she says. “I want them to open doors and turn the sculptures over to examine and explore them.”
Working with her preferred materials; ceramic and bronze, Massey sculpts wonderfully detailed figures and creatures – the current collection includes birds and trees as well as horned guardians of medieval legend which are both strange and familiar.
Massey’s work draws not only on western sculpture but eastern and classical mythology and through the fusion of these she leads her viewer to a world beyond the confines of any tradition.
The sun and moon – and their astrological symbolism – provide equally powerful sources of inspiration. “In astrology the moon represents femaleness, receptivity, earth and water while the sun represents qualities of maleness, initiation, air and fire,” explains Massey. “The balancing of these paradoxical qualities results in a wholeness and harmony. “
Attaching the sun and the moon to a body of sculptures is one her Massey’s signature styles, as are arresting female forms which provide a lively – and often humorous addition – to her body of work.
“My female goddess images relate to Sheela-na-gigs, but are not intended to be frightening or repulsive the way Sheelas are,” she explains. “They very obviously deal with sexuality but are an expression of joy and the physical feeling of lightness and expansion which joy bring

s. “ Another recurrent theme in Massey’s latest body of work is what she describes as “the divinity of the natural world”. She says: “I don’t feel that there is any separation on conflict between the divine and the concrete world. The spectrum flows from spirit through matter and does not exclude humans.”

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