The work of sculptor Tom O'Connell is inspired by mythology and the natural stone and driftwood surrounding him in west Clare.
Operating from an isolated workshop along the road from Liscannor to Doolin, on the west coast of County Clare, stone carver Tom O'Connell takes inspiration from his surroundings, working in granite, marble and limestone.
Tom has no formal training in his chosen art form, but taught himself how to use the appropriate tools to carve stone. Tom’s style is primitive, and he explains one of his limestone pieces, a three faced head depicting joy, sorrow and misery.
He has taken inspiration from Greek and Aztec mythology the Hopi Native American tribe and the poems of William Shakespeare.
Tom explains the genesis of some of his other sculptures, a skull, a mermaid and the sea god Neptune. Simple sculptures of a foot and leg evolved naturally from a suitably shaped stone.
I find these pieces and then add my own imagination onto them to improve them.
While Tom has never been to an art gallery or a museum, he has seen pieces of sculpture on private property. His work can sell from £10 - £40 and he has successfully sold pieces to people in Dublin as well as further afield in Europe, Canada and the United States of America.
This episode of ‘Tangents’ was broadcast on 16 April, 1973. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon. A miscellany of events, entertainment, opinions and personalities, ‘Tangents’ was first aired on Monday 25 September 1972 and ran until 1974.