1944, United Kingdom
Having worked with porcelain for over 5 decades, it is Foley’s dedication that gives her such sensitivity towards her medium. This commitment combined with her expert glazing and acknowledgment of this material’s vast history, results in very fresh and modern works that equally pay homage to what has gone before. Flower forms, poppy heads, bracts and petals translate into foliate rims and sinuous necks, carved and pleated or swept into a spiral. A contemporary marriage of craft, history and nature.
In her own words:
“As a professional potter I have been producing thrown porcelains for over fifty years and so logic would dictate that I have ‘seen it all, done it all’ by now, but on the contrary I still continue to be challenged and interested. The technical frustrations and the uncertainty of results all seem worthwhile when one opens a successful kiln firing. The heart leaps!
I have never been afraid to push my materials to the limit, to accept failures and to follow trails, but I am always excited when basic techniques and familiar methods result in something new. My primary interest is in ‘form’ and in finding solutions for what I call ‘damp engineering’. The comparatively non-plastic nature of porcelain dictates my having to join sections together, but a form must ‘flow’ and construction methods should not be obvious.
Over the years I have fired every sort of kiln and dallied with glazes, spending untold hours testing and rejecting, but since I now work in a small space I find simple black and white glazes and slips are less distracting and best enhance my forms.
I am not influenced by any particular thing – rather, I am interested in everything; always looking for quality and workmanship. I love all aspects of the design world from architecture to textiles. Museums, galleries and exhibitions are my addiction, with photography and the natural world a constant inspiration.
My travels to China and my ongoing study of Chinese ceramics have also been an enduring theme and I have been lucky enough to handle and photograph some of the world’s great collections”
Foley has a global following and is represented in private and public collections world wide.
Public Collections and Acquisitions
National Museum of Ireland, Dublin • Limerick City Art Gallery • Ulster Museum, N. Ireland • Crafts Council of Ireland • Centre of Ceramic Art, York Museums Trust • Southampton City Art Gallery • Leeds Museums & Galleries • US Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith • President Hillery of Ireland • President Mary Robinson of Ireland • Prime Minister Charles Haughey of Ireland • President Hertzog of Israel • Prime Minister Keating of Australia • Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia • US President Bill Clinton and Hilary Rodham Clinton • Royal Household, Sweden • Nancy Soderberg • President Jacques Chirac of France • Irish Embassy, Berlin • Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados • Ford UK, London • Four Seasons Hotel, Amman, Jordan • Rolex, London • Regent Palace Hotel, Budapest Hungary • Millenium Hotel, Knightsbridge, London • Aspin Insurance , London • Coutts Bank. London • Four Seasons Hotel, Moscow • King Salman Household, Saudi Arabia
Royal Dublin Society 1st prize - 1983,84,85 • Royal Dublin Society awards and 2nd prize - 1981, 82
Exhibitions and further information
Tall White Flowers Collection
Exclusive New Porcelain
Artworks by the artist