Caroline Getty Selected for RDS Art Exhibition

Caroline Getty with her Art Teacher, Liz JohnstonPast pupil, Caroline Getty, popped into Dunluce on Monday.  She has just been selected as part of the RDS Craft Awards Exhibition in Dublin – a prestigious competition rewarding and showcasing excellence in Irish Crafts – and had agreed to tell us a little about life after Dunluce.

Caroline was our head girl in 2009 and she says Dunluce was where her love for art really took off, “My art has changed over the years and there have been different influences that have affected the way I work; but my love of art took root when I was doing my GCSEs with Miss Harrison (Mrs Johnston)”

Since leaving Caroline has earned a National Diploma in Design and Craft, as well as Foundation Studies in Art and Design from the North West Regional College. She then went on to Ulster University in Belfast, from where she will graduate with a degree in Contemporary Applied Art on Wednesday. 

“I took a gap year through ERASMUS; going firstly to Kilkenny to work as a Gallery Intern at the National Craft Gallery for three months, and then on to Denmark to work at Guldagergaard, the International Ceramics Research Centre in Skælskør.

Nina Hole's Fire Sculpture

There Caroline got the chance to work with the renowned Danish sculptor, Nina Hole, on one of her famous  Fire Sculptures, monumental ceramic structures built and fired on location.  “It is difficult to describe the experience.  We worked on it for about three weeks.  It was unique.”

Now that she’s returned to Northern Ireland Caroline has been working hard on completing her degree.  Her final year work has culminated in preparing for the UU ‘New Makers’ Degree Show; including the piece which has been shortlisted for the RDS Exhibition, Incurve|outcurve.

“My whole practice this year has been inspired by exploring weak and strong fragments within my day to day living and journey. Curious of the bond created between two opposite forces - how they can interlock and work together.”

Incurve|Outcurve“Incurve|outcurve is two opposites that work together. concave and convex forms represented in ceramic to portray a strong element, combined with light, fragile paper material to contrast the strong form. The coloured bungee cord is to emphasise the tension created between two opposites, holding them together. Much like people, this piece represents powerful and fragile qualities, showing how we can work together to support one another individually.”

Mrs Johnston was delighted to hear about her past pupil’s success.  “I remember Caroline as a very artistic, diligent pupil, an outstanding student.  Her strength was in her drawing – she was very talented, and obviously still is.  I am extremely proud of her and so pleased that she is gaining recognition and success.  It is well deserved.” 

So what does the future hold for Caroline Getty?  It’s clear that all of these experiences have fueled Caroline’s passion for workingwith ceramics, as well as working with people.  “I really enjoyed showing groups around the galleries and running workshops for children.  It’s given me the desire to establish myself and  I’d love to create something here on the north coast working with people and promoting ceramic arts.” 

“But for now I’m focusing on entering competitions and getting my work seen as widely as possible.  Incurve|outcurve will be displayed in Dublin in July and  Co Mayo from August to November.  The winners then return to Dublin.  They are announced in December, so who knows… “

Throughout  the interview Caroline was incredibly modest about her success, “I’m a very shy person” she smiled when I asked how she felt about the recognition she was receiving, “or at least I was in school.  It all feels a little unreal.”  When asked what advice she had for our current pupils she thought for a moment, “Time goesby so fast.  Use your time in school wisely.  Make the most of the opportunities that are opened to you there and work hard to make them into something special.  If you are reallypassionate about what you are doing then you will succeed.”

Whatever lies ahead for Caroline we at Dunluce are incredibly proud of everything that she has already achieved, and look forward to hearing about further success.

You can view Caroline’s work at the RDS from the 13th to the 24th July  – including during the Dublin Horse Show.  It will then move on to the National Museum of Ireland in Co Mayo between August and November.

Caroline’s work will also be displayed at an Exhibition, along with other UU students, at Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart.  Call (028) 7083 1400 for more information

Caroline Getty meets some of Mrs Johnston's current GCSE class