matter of fact, 2016. Mild steel, card, plastic cable ties, and primer, 240 x 240 x 300 cm. Photo: Roland Paschhoff, Courtesy the artist and domobaal

The Heart of Matter: A Conversation with Maud Cotter

Maud Cotter, one of Ireland’s most inventive artists, has almost four decades of work behind her, and she continues to change while still remaining, essentially, herself. From the discrete object, she has moved into installation and site-specific works that question the nature of form, physical reality, and the place of human will within that mercurial mix. Her work is playful, but there is always a carefully thought-out core. As Cotter explained to me a few years ago: “As an artist, you spend a lot of time exploring and fashioning ways of ingesting and experiencing the world and hopefully making a contribution to the understanding of our existence… Each one-person show is an attempt at a deepening understanding and forms a distinct line of inquiry. When I started off, I had a primitive, weird, not-so-brilliant idea of starting from scratch, of not taking anything for granted…I chose to go back, and have a continual sense of beginning every time I make something.”

Brian McAvera: There is still a distrust of non-figurative work among the general public. Do you consider audience?
Maud Cotter:
Yes, by virtue of my embodied presence; part of my energy is on offer in the work. I like to think that there is space for others, a quality of porosity that is inclusive by nature. People can sense if the work is open to them. My work is non-figurative, but it offers a place to be by virtue of its oscillation, its energy . . .

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