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Transcript from, 2011

Maud Cotter 
Hugh Campbell

Maud Cotter was born in Co. Wexford in 1954 and has recently returned from the U.K. to live and work in Ireland. Cotter is a co-founder and director of the National Sculpture Factory and a member of Aosdána ( 1990 ).  She has her studio at Delfina Trust in London ( 1992 – 1998 ) and recently completed a residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art – Artists Work Programme ( 1999 ). Maud Cotter’s work has featured in group exhibitions and solo-projects in Europe and the U.S.A. since the early eighties.

Maud Cotter is shortlisted for her participation in ; 0044 – Irish Artists in Britain 1999 at PS-1 New York, A Measured Quietude at the Drawing Room Centre New York, Themeat Ormeau Baths Gallery Belfast and ShadowInstallation at Temple Bar Dublin.

There are five pieces in this exhibition form Maud Cotter which vary in scale and sensibility from small, composite, wall-mounted works such as Filling Empty Spacesto a monumental free standing sculpture entitled Flesh:

‘Much of Maud Cotter’s recent work has been preoccupied with boundary conditions. This manifests itself in pieces which are concerned with marking and containing space, but also in forms which remain on the verge of absolute definition. One of the most striking pieces in Maud Cotter’s Glen Dimplex exhibition is entitled Flesh. 5 metres long, 2.5 metres high and 1.2 metres across at its widest point, it is a meticulously woven construct of card strips and layers of lafarge model plaster. Flesh feels as if it is still evolving. Its curved and angled edges are tentative rather than definitive. The piece seems the result of stedy accretion rather than conscious production. It wasn’t made : it grew. Its surfaces pucker and distend rather than holding to a geometric order. It is reminiscent of many other forms but retains the matter-of-fact singularity of a living thing. Although it is composed from an endlessly repeating module, in looking at it we do not feel the deadening hand of repetition, but rather a sense of organic development, Fleshis full of such contradictory readings. It is skeletal, but is constructed as a shell. Its surfaces are continuous, yet full of holes. It sits on the ground yet seems to float. Its contained volume might be the result of expansion or on the other hand, of contraction. It is brittle, and yet seems to be malleable as a pinch of skin or a fold of cloth’.

Dr. Hugh Campbell, PHD Architecture. Lecturer, UCD, Dublin.

Cotter’s use and rage of media has evolved dramatically in recent years. The basic substances with which she works are often quite ordinary ; cardboard, industrial rubber or clear plastic, but she deals with this tension by transforming them into sculptures with a strong material presence.


The Glen Dimplex Artists Award 2000
Exhibition 20 April – 18 June 2000

Catalogue notes by Brenda McPartland, Head of Exhibitions and Sarah Glennie, Curator : Exhibitions.