Catherine’s a glass act

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A young artist from Portstewart has joined an impressive list of artists who have been commissioned to create the prestigious Allianz Business to Arts Awards over the past 21 years.

Catherine Keenan is to create a number of unusual glass pieces by experimenting with the Venetian cane pulling and roll-up techniques.

The commission, which is to create seven award sculptures, has been made to an artist each year by Dublin Airport Authority.

The awards are presented at the Allianz Business to Arts Awards ceremony in Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on September 4.

This year’s award sculpture “Striped Bulb” is by glass artist Catherine Keenan, who describes the work as “an exploration of form and pattern”.

“The shape has been developed to complement the lines, the rounded forms of different proportions cause a subtle distortion to the lines”, she says.

Based in Portstewart, and as a graduate of both the University of Ulster, and NCAD Catherine’s work reflects her diverse education background in a positive way, showcasing how she engages her craft. “I seek to generate positive emotions with my work, to give solace and uplift,” she says.

Catherine explained the inspiration behind the work: “In this piece I have experimented with the Venetian cane pulling and roll-up technique to create lines.

“There are two different types of cane per piece to give variation in colour and thickness of line. One has a purple core and clear outer, the other has a white core and transparent green outer.

“The thickness of these lines and intensity of colour vary due to the contours of the piece, creating a subtle and soft effect.”

The uniqueness of each individual award will reflect the unique nature of each award winner.

Artists previously commissioned have included Mark Hanvey, Felim Egan, Seamus Gill, Ailbhe Gallagher, Cormac Boydell and Kevin O’Dwyer.

Oliver Cussen, Acting Chief Executive of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said, “Over the past 21 years, the DAA has commissioned a series of beautiful art pieces for the Business to Arts awards and this year’s glass sculpture by Catherine Keenan is no exception.

“We are delighted to be involved with Business to Arts again this year and congratulate all of the organisations and communities who participated in being short-listed for an award.”