The talk will explore the methods of design direction and development that the studio employs to produce work that is both informed by the nature of the material used, and which allows opportunities for the work to be rediscovered in the making.
Joseph Walsh’s work reflects his passion for expression through material and form. From monumental scale sculptures to one-of-a-kind site-specific commissions and collectable design editions, every piece within his dynamic body of work reveals an intuitive relationship with making, a sympathetic use of materials and an expressive engagement with form.
Inspired by the free, uplifting and ever-changing grace that can be found in nature, Joseph Walsh has developed a creative process which captures the fluidity and immediacy of a sketch – of the moment of inspiration – and in which the final form is only defined through its making.
Joseph Walsh was born in 1979 in County Cork on the south coast of Ireland where he established his own studio and workshop at age 20 and is still based today. With no formal training, he began to explore his passion for making, visiting master makers around Europe and developing his own mastery of wood working and deep knowledge of the material. From the outset he pursued innovation in making based on traditional techniques, often from other craft forms, which enabled new making methods and forms. This led to significant early commissions for various ecclesiastical clients, the Embassy of Japan and the National Museum of Ireland.
From these early years of experimentation and development, Joseph Walsh began to break some of the traditional rules of making, and even his own rules, in order to create the truly bold and expressive forms for which he is known today, realised in an ever-widening range of materials, including wood, marble and bronze. His achievements in design have been recognised by an honorary doctorate from University College Cork, a major commission for the National Gallery of Ireland and the acquisition of works for many major international collections, including most recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.