Celtic Reflections

Karin Stanley in one of her work locations.

By Nancy Griffin, Contributor
December / January 2006

“At least a third of the work that’s been bought is used indoors, but I always design it for outdoors,” said Karin Stanley, whose Celtic Reflections series was exhibited at the Cairncroft Sculpture Garden in Dover, Massaschusetts June through October.

Stanley employs stone, steel and other materials in pieces ranging from one to six feet tall. She finds stones with distinct shapes, colors and textures, then works the Celtic hieroglyphs and polished steel into the stone for high contrast.

Her work includes her Celtic Stela series of tall granite sculptures adorned with Celtic hieroglyphs or letters from the ancient Ogham alphabet with a vessel for fire in the top.

“The spirit of any place is part of my work. I started making the stelas in 1997, but I wasn’t ready for a showing until four years ago,” said Stanley.

She works in four different locations around Boston, one for metal work and another for stone work, and hunts for stones in various quarries around New England.

Shanley began her career as a knitwear designer in Ireland because she was interested in textures, materials, fibers, patterns and symbolism. She also worked in film, video and theater, styling sets and costumes. Now her sculpture adorns gardens and homes in Ireland, California, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. Recently she received two commissions from Australia. Raised in Dublin County and County Carlow, Stanley has lived in the U.S. for 19 years. In 2000, she graduated from the landscape design program at Radcliffe College in Cambridge. She lives in South Natick, Massachusetts with her husband and two children. ♦

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