Alumni Stories - Sadhbh Mowlds
'I was completely enthralled by the colours, the creative atmosphere and the sense of freedom in the air. NCAD's campus is something quite special and I had not witnessed anything similar in other universities I had visited.'
Name: Sadhbh Mowlds
Current Career: Studying for MFA at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Graduation Year: 2014
Location: Carbondale, Illinois, USA
What career path did you want to follow as a child?
Besides the usual, romanticised, kid ideas about being a vet or an explorer, the notion of being an artist was always forefront in my mind. Though, I'm sure I never really understood what “being an artist” meant, nor do I think I'm any closer to a conclusion as an adult. I think we're all artists, really.
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
I was aware that NCAD was the only stand-alone art college in Ireland, and I had visited the campus multiple times to check it out. I was completely enthralled by the colours, the creative atmosphere and the sense of freedom in the air. NCAD's campus is something quite special and I had not witnessed anything similar in other universities I had visited.
How did you develop your career towards your current practice?
After I graduated from NCAD, I went to Germany to pursue an internship in a budding glass studio under the Erasmus+ program. I ended up staying in Berlin for the following five years, freelancing as a glassblowing assistant out of the same studio. Despite learning a lot, I put my own work on the backburner while I was there, and my creativity suffered greatly. In 2019, I decided to get the ball rolling again and apply to do my MFA, stateside. And here I am, currently in my second year of a Masters in Fine Art programme, within the glass department of Southern Illinois University.
What is the one experience during your time at NCAD that has informed you most in your work to date?
It's difficult to pinpoint any specific experiences, although I can say that my entire time at NCAD was a major eye opener. I discovered glass as a creative material, something that never crossed my mind before going to NCAD. That discovery has shaped and influenced nearly all the big life decisions I have made ever since, and it will most likely continue to do so.
If you were chatting with current NCAD students today what is the one piece of advice you would offer?
Anything can and will happen. Your trajectory may change; and you may find yourself on a path that, not in a million years, you would have expected to find yourself on. Go with it.
Take advantage of all the facilities available to you, take advantage of the experience of your professors and take advantage of the creative energy of your peers. Absorb it all and make the most of it; it will be over before you know it.
Given the global turmoil and change accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, what in your opinion are the opportunities for those in creative industries?
This is certainly a time of reflection - of stepping back and reassessing the immense importance that the arts and creative industries have on our day-to-day lives. People are looking more to support local and to appreciate creatives. During the ongoing insanity this year has witnessed, it is the role of the artist to remark, question, confront, to see the world differently, and to provide alternative perceptions. Now, with the usage of online activities and social medias soaring due to the current global climate, the world is waiting to hear our voices.
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