Crafter Maureen McGhee’s new exhibition ‘The Waters of Life: Uisce beatha’ is currently on display in the Warehouse Gallery, Guildhall Street until March 4.
The local artist, who specialises in crafting beautiful jewellery from silver and Irish Bog Oak, some of which is over 5,000 years old, says the new exhibition draws on Irish traditions, nature and Derry’s riverside setting for inspiration.
Maureen refers to her work as ‘treasures’ that are inspired by the “unusual patterns found in natural woods, as well as Celtic traditions and the use of symbolism linked with nature”.
Maureen said: “I love working with natural wood and enhancing each piece of wood’s beautiful qualities. Each piece is therefore unique, not to be repeated.”
Maureen originally studied at Grennan Mill Craft School in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny.
She went on to study 3D Design specialising in Jewellery at the University of Ulster in Belfast. This is when she became interested in combining wood and metal and has continued doing so in her current work.
She now trades under the Irish Unique Art brand.
Maureen’s love of silver with its purity and simplicity of line complements her fascination with Celtic traditions and beliefs. All her work carries some form of symbolism either based on the person or family it is being made for, or patterns carried within the wood as they emerge through cutting and shaping.