Work Not For Sale

This piece is a result of Ronan Lowery’s participation in the Film Makers project from 2016 – 2017, where he was invited to produce new work in response to heritage footage from the Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive. 


For Ronan, the archive footage inspired themes of storytelling, mark making and identity within the maker’s environment so he chose to explore this concept with a focus on the story of how he makes his mark as a furniture designer. Geometry, and particularly geometry in nature, is a major inspiration in his work, so he wanted to somehow embody that sense of nature’s design alongside identity. It seemed only fitting to incorporate the form of the double helix – representative of DNA, identity at a cellular level. Material manipulation is another key inspiration for Ronan and he enjoys the paradoxical nature these processes sometimes highlight. One such process which fascinates him is the scorching of wood, an ancient Japanese technique known as ‘shou sugi ban’. Through apparent destruction, this process serves to protect the surface and strengthen it and it results in the accentuation of the wood’s unique grain structure – its ‘fingerprint’.


For ‘Identity’, Ronan used ash and oak; the curved rail of the bench uses the lamination of thin strips of timber bent over a mould.


On exhibition by kind permission of Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Contact Gallery

Artist Bio

Ronan Lowery grew up in Donegal before moving to Connemara to study at the renowned Furniture College at Letterfrack. A fascination for mathematics and geometry is a strong influence in his work; sometimes obvious, sometimes subtle. Material manipulation is also a key inspiration and he enjoys the paradoxical nature these processes sometimes highlight; scorching a surface to enhance resilience, breaking down a single element and reassembling its constituent parts to increase strength. He fosters a close working dialogue with clients and uses this dynamic to shape every individual project.