Mary O'Dea

Mary O'Dea studied Fine Art at Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She lectures at Limerick School of Art and Design and is on the board of Limerick Printmakers.

‘I love the 'making' space. There is the agonising time beforehand. What am I doing? There is the doubting time afterwards. What is this I have just created? Within the creative process, however, there is stillness. Having worked as an engineer before becoming an artist, I see a signi?cant corre-lation between science and art. They both involve creating and problem solving. In both, the process is as interesting as the result, which is always a surprise.’

Hunt Museum



Stab bound book, embossing and linocut print on paper, wire and thread
26 x 52 x 29 cm

Impressions is a response to a sixteenth-century shagreen case for a reliquary pendant cross in the Hunt Museum (MG 095B). The work explores the evolution of the mother daughter relationship through the process of 'passing on of faith'. In this context, the work questions the church's view on the role of women in the ecclesial community and on motherhood. Through the use of embossing, the work attempts to capture impressions of a passed on faith. Only objects that resonate with or question beliefs are printed. Pages of the book are ?xed in place with wire knots and kept taut with red thread to represent the feeling of restriction and the tension between what feels right and what is deemed to be right.

Limerick Museum

Letting Go


Urethane resin casting, fabric and gold wire
18 x 20 x 11 cm

In a response to a nineteenth-century apothecary case with medicines and a child's communion apron (LM 1989.0102) the work explores loss. The role of ritual in the process of grieving and letting go of the experiences of the past and of imagined futures is also examined. The work attempts to capture the preciousness of life no matter how brief.