Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sarah Leech 

BA [Hons] 3D Design Modelmaking + Digital Art

I am based in County Wicklow with five years in art focused education. I entered this course with an open mind as to which aspect I would gravitate towards. Although I am skilled in digital, I much preferred the physical aspect of the course, particularly sculpting. Working physically gives me more control over the detailed aspects of a project than having a computer constantly trying to correct or predict what I do. My favourite aspect of this career is concept art along with the design and creation of characters.

Mermaid Birth

This project consists of a mermaid fetus, umbilical cord and placenta cast in solid silicone from plaster molds. It is suspended in diluted natrosol to simulate amniotic fluid within a plastic amniotic sac. Most of the project time was spent on sculpting, with the sac being the most challenging aspect. I referenced the proportions of a human fetus at 20 weeks gestation, but with a developmental age of 28 weeks to replicate ex utero development in nature. I chose physical traits for the fetus based on my idea of what the parents might look like. This was influenced by a story I created about them and the circumstances in which the conception of their fetus had to be hidden.

Thesis: Why is “Does the Dog Die?” A Question that Affects Our Enjoyment of Film?

Our emotional connection with dogs, and their presence in our lives make them an integral part of the cinematic experience. We are so invested in their wellbeing that we will often refuse to see a film featuring a dog until we know its fate. However, the reason we feel this way is much deeper than simply because “they’re just so cute”. We have a rich history with dogs which has developed through several factors, such as anthropomorphism and their ability to follow The Hero’s Journey. The thesis explores this through the medium of film and the support of scholarly texts.