Irena Smyth

Irena Smyth is a Visuall Artist based in Meath. Her practice involves installations and sculptural assemblages. Irena works across a variety of mediums and materials. Her practice challenges to replication of objects through different processes, such as castings, handmade clay pieces, and images transferred onto sellotape. Irena activates the objects in the work through methods of display. Her work seeks to create a dialogue between the material, the space and the viewer. The work aims to look at the dynamics of the objects within assemblages. The work can be seen as provisional, creating iterations and re-assemblages.


‘Plasticity//Facsimile’ is an installation consisting of sculptural assemblages, that speaks to the reproduction of objects through different processes. Irena offers a variety of different materials in the work, glazed ceramics, natural wax, plaster, jesmonite, Sellotape and found materials. The functional found objects are transformed to sculptural objects/materials, through the changing of the original material.

Replication can be seen in the casting, handmade ceramics, and the image transferred onto Sellotape. The function is removed and the viewer is left to observe the vitality of the material in the assemblage. Irena challenges the traditional white plinth, by creating sculptural structures made from mdf. Adding sectioned layers of gloss varnish in contrast to the raw untreated mdf, that has a relationship with the glaze ceramics. The sculptural structures abandon the traditional ways of the plinth as a method of display and become sculptural structures within themselves. They are not viewed as separate or secondary, but viewed as apart of the artwork.

Irena uses a process to transfer images onto Sellotape creating an illusion of the material/object. Creating an archive which inhabit the characteristics of the materiality of the Sellotape. Tension is created within the piece through the activation of the objects, a ceramic suspenders by a rope, evenly been balance by another. There is also a contrast between the industrial and organic, this can be seen through the materials and processes used. The work can be seen as provisional, it can be assembled and re-assembled again, creating different iteration of the work. Irena seeks to create a dialogue between the material, the space and the viewer.

Irena hopes to push the project further, by applying for the Firestation Award to open the doors to test out new equipment. The work would progress as the access of new equipment and materials.