Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Northern Ireland

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Artist of the Month August 2018 - Ursula Burke

Wednesday 1st August 2018 at 9am

Pillow by Ursula Burke Image: Pillow by Ursula Burke

Ursula Burke is an Irish artist who works in a variety of media including porcelain sculpture, embroidery and drawing. Educated at the University of Ulster, Ursula has completed a practice based PhD exploring issues of representation and identity within contemporary Ireland, themes that strongly pervade her work.

She has received numerous awards and fellowships throughout her career, including most recently the Golden Fleece Award in 2018, and has been involved in a wide variety of roles within the visual arts in Northern Ireland, including being an ex-Director of Catalyst Arts and an Associate Lecturer in Fine Art at the Ulster University. Ursula is currently External Assessor for Sculpture and Ceramics at the Institute of Technology in Sligo.

Pillow by Ursula Burke is included in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland collection. It is a parian porcelain sculpture that makes reference to the kinds of religious relics that are venerated by Christian practices throughout the centuries. The sculpture works within classical conventions of marble sculpture, as the properties of parian porcelain emulate those of marble when fired. However, signs and symbols of the contemporary (such as an iPhone, rosary beads and a flag) can be seen under the surface of the pillow, posing questions in relation to the place and role of religion in contemporary Irish Society.

Visit for further information about Ursula’s work.

More objects from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s collection can be viewed online at