Pete Donnelly

My work is concerned with the importance of individuality and otherness in a society which can sometimes appear prescribed and homogenous. I mainly work in ceramic portraits or figurative art and (through recording the human face) I explore some of the subtleties in human emotion and the corresponding facial expressions.

My previous work in mental health involved a great deal of interaction with others, including people in sometimes extremely difficult and complex situations and what struck me was the limitation of human expression in sometimes communicating these very complicated feelings and emotions. In acknowledging this, I sometimes distort and exaggerate facial features in order to tell an individual’s story or further the emotion I’m trying to communicate.

I tend to work in stories, often creating a background and personality for a character prior to starting a sculpture. My intention is to prompt, not only an emotional, human response from the viewer using facial expression as an emotional trigger, but, I also encourage questions to be asked, leaving the door open for the audience to construct their own narrative and perception of the snapshot they have been provided with.