Student Conversation - Meadhbh McIlgorm

"I am interested in the things that aren’t really there, emphemeral, transparent things."

On process and play:

It didn’t start off like this. I was looking at fractals and light. I didn’t know what to do. I was looking at graphs and lines which led me to chaos theory and weather, which I guess led me towards structures I could modulate. My process started off simply looking at things around me. I started to play with inks in water. I wanted to capture that sense of movement in the structures. The viewer makes up the rest. I suppose I am interested in the things that aren’t really there, emphemeral, transparent things.

On her final year project:

I’ve called this series of work ‘Intangiable Objects’ as they are only completed when you see them in light and with the shadows they generate. Then they are a finished piece. I spent the first half of this year lost, not knowing what I was doing but knowing I wanted to explore. Once I made my first version I was then able to experiment with the idea more and more. I played with different moulds, fabrics and forms and other reflective surfaces.

On glass:

There are a lot of varied factors in my experiments which brings me back to my original ideas of fractals and chaos theory. I really like that unpredictability
in each one of the pieces. Each time I make one it is completely different. It’s really organic. A lot of people have told me that they are like big drawings. I don’t know if I see them as drawings or not. The big thing for me is how they work with light and shadow and the possibilities that brings.


On making:

From the beginning the work that I found myself drawn to was in colour and shadow, so glass seemed like an obvious choice for me. I love making things, it’s addictive. I love the results, that I can mess around with things, you know, just having a go. There’s freedom to play and enjoy the materials, it’s just really versatile.

On finish:

The pieces started off by hand. By using different temperatures I could fuse them together in different ways. Some turned out too fragile, but it made the results more organic. Once the fabric mould is fired and crumbles away, the form is revealed. They work best viewed from eye level, they look tangled and the space inside becomes really important.