Helen Costello pictured here with Charlie and Carol Swan, who launched her ‘Seen Unseen’ ceramic exhibition at Nenagh Arts Centre.

Stunning clay sculptures exhibition

Nenagh Arts Centre is hosting the debut solo exhibition of Helen Costello’s ‘Seen Unseen’, which runs until May 29. Helen’s stoneware sculptures depict the daily behaviours and interactions of farm animals and wildlife that surround us, captured in clay.

The public is invited to meet the artist on Tuesday, May 23, from 10am-1pm (free event).

Helen spent her life in agriculture, primarily with cows and horses, inspiring her sculptural work. ‘Seen Unseen’ is a body of work produced to allow the viewer to discover the beauty in the similarities and differences of farm animals and wildlife. The exhibition showcases the bond between animals and humans and the unspoken language that they share.

In her sculptures, the observer can see the intimate touches of a cow and calf / mare and foal, the alert cocked head of a hare, and the passion of racehorses crossing the finish line. The unglazed colour of the fired clay highlights aspects of the pieces in a stone-like finish, creating a natural look that captures the essence of the animals.

Costello’s work has been inspired by a lifetime of working with animals. She spent her youth and working life on farms, observing the variety of animals and plants on the land. Her approach towards animals has been shaped by her time spent with her uncle in Kerry, milking cows, playing with the farm dog, and appreciating, examining, assessing and judging cows.

Helen is based in Cloughjordan and her work has been inspired by a lifetime of working with animals, and she spent her youth and working life on farms. She attended Gurteen Agricultural College and spent 15 years, as an independent advisor, advising dairy farmers all over Ireland, Wales, England, southwest Scotland, Hungary, France and Germany. She is a trained Milking and Mastitis Consultant and has also bred and shown prizewinning purebred Welsh ponies.