Each of my porcelain paper clay shelters is embossed with an old Irish proverb, ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine’ alongside the translation, ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’
I am intrigued by the safe spaces we seek when we are in darkness. When we carry a pain too great to bear we often find solace and shelter with one another.
My paper clay shelters are not perfect; they are beautifully fragile, like us. Each shelter wears an imperfection or tear; I have glazed gold lustre on the cracks and tears to speak of the mystery of new beginnings and renewal. It is our own stories of healing and transformation that gives us the ability to console others.
Shelter is solace. Shelter gives hope. Shelter may not be a cure. Yet, the beautiful mystery is that it transforms both the one who is being sheltered and the one who is doing the sheltering.