As a sculptor, Irish artists Patricia Volk loves working with the directness of clay; using all the techniques, coiling and slab building, making one-off pieces, which are fired then finished with vivid coloured acrylic paint.

“Classical sculpture was always highly coloured but we have this erroneous idea that they were all white and sterile looking.”

Volk’s obsession is catching a very simple form or line, primarily, then enhancing it with colour. Sometimes she uses juxtapositions of two forms that hope suggest contradictions of strength and fragility, stability and precariousness – like the relationships between human beings. But also other opposites, such as rest and activity, that give her work a lively presence and a sense of each one having an individual character.

“But really all this is open to the eye of the beholder. I never wants to be too prescriptive.”