Mandy Parslow

Mandy is a maker, educator and researcher based in rural Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Her current practice explores perspectives on place through locally found materials – ceramic, organic and anthropological.

She is lecturer in Ceramics at Limerick School of Art and Design.

She says of her work,

Light shifts across the land altering colour, form and texture; varying by the minute, by the season. Marks left by human endeavour punctuate these changes; ploughed fields, meandering paths. Some of these patterns describe ancient cultural landscapes; others show current activity as place continues to be shaped by man and nature.

My practice explores a sense of place through landscape and objects. Forms evolve from the vernacular containers and tools of rural life now preserved in museums. Conserved behind glass, no longer utilitarian, they resonate for different reasons. Rims act like horizons; the liminal space between land and sky, between internal and external.

An exploration of the vessel and the unpredictable technique of wood-firing seem fitting ways to examine these concerns. The rootedness, physicality and close attention over a long time required by the kiln echoes a farmer’s knowledge and bond to the land and provides a link with my rural heritage.

The firing appears to physically embed place in the work. Each piece is both caressed and assaulted by the flame, ash and salt vapour moving through the kiln in the intense heat of the firing. Their surfaces are a record of this journey.