Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Vanda Brown 

BA [Hons] Art

Vanda Brown is a Wicklow-based artist seeking beauty in everything. Her work responds to developments in society, engaging with environmental and mental health issues and she is attentive to fragility as well as strength. She works organically with wood, clay, paint and other mixed media to create sculptural installations. Her work is both experimental and mindful, letting materials and tools guide and determine gestural expression. She is drawn to materials in a state of decay, which are then preserved and given new life. She has exhibited in BAEC, Signal Arts Centre (2019) and In the Making: Aorta at Pallas Projects (2024).

Project Description

My project, tilted Scree, began its journey in 2023 with clay and the desire to create movement. I chose to leave the clay unfired to reference fragility and to allow the material to find its way back into the earth. I developed a process that involved responding to failures, working with fragments and remnants. Focusing on movement through debris, I seek to explore the tension between the impulse to move on and the pull to stay. The installation consists of multiple components, with materials that include wood, metal, wool, threads, clay, baked parchment paper, acrylic paint and canvas. The clay wall paintings include a self-portrait that examines my own experience of being displaced from myself. The floor installation, composed of fragments, is conceived as an open landscape, a foundation built from rubble, across which we can travel mindfully and question the longing we may have for our past.

The Evolution of Sculpture and Exploration of Craft and Process

This thesis explores the development of specific methods in sculpture across different historical periods, beginning with pre-historic times looking at cultural works from around the world, and moving forward to investigate the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary art in the present day.
Through an analysis of selected artworks, it traces the evolution of the techniques and their relevance in artistic creation. The examination of these artworks and the artists who created the work provides insight into the evolution of sculpture spanning centuries, highlighting the widespread adoption of certain methods, such as craft in contemporary art, alongside traditional materials from past eras, form, and function also playing a role.
This study explores how these artists were also influenced by their surrounding environments and how at certain times in their lives inspired artistic production, often connecting works, methods, and materials through a common thread. This research sheds light on the dynamic evolution of sculptural practices and the artists who have contributed to this ongoing transformation.