Claire Curneen Irish, b. 1968

Claire Curneen has been working in ceramics for over twenty years. She graduated from Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork, with a Diploma in Art and Design (Ceramics) in 1991, but it wasn’t until she moved to Wales the following year to undertake a Master’s degree in ceramics at the Cardiff Institute of Higher Education that she discovered porcelain. Its translucent and fragile qualities have proved the perfect medium for her exploration of the universal themes of loss, suffering and sacrifice in humans. 


Her figures, often inspired by biblical stories of martyrdom and their representation in Early Renaissance art, simultaneously appear tortured and serene; stories of human suffering encased in the most delicate of materials. Often incorporating terracotta, black stoneware, dribbles of glaze, flashes of colour and gold, the surfaces she creates have a rich textural quality that can make her figures appear other-worldly, a reflection on the nature of humanity and our precarious position within it.  


Claire Curneen was born in Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland in 1968 and currently lives and works in Wales, UK. She is a member of Selected Makers slide index, Crafts Council; London Contemporary Applied Arts, London; and the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva. She has featured in numerous international exhibitions, books & periodicals and is the recipient of multiple awards. Her work is included in many private and public collections including:

-       Crafts Council, London

-       Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead

-       National Museum & Gallery of Wales, Cardiff

-       Victoria and Albert Museum, London

-       The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

-       Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester

-       National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

-       Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Aberystwyth, Wales

-       Cleveland Craft Centre, Middlesbrough

-       Oldham Art Gallery and Museum, Manchester

-       York City Art Gallery, York

-       Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough

-       Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Eire

-       Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Eire

-       Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland

-       Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece

-       Clay Studio, Philadelphia, USA

-       Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

-       Icheon World Ceramic Centre, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

-       Taipei Ceramics Museum, Taiwan.