Helen Doherty

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Helen Doherty holds an interest in the relationship between identity and place, in particular, the role which culture plays in molding who we become. Growing up in South Africa and Britain, yet receiving a British education in both places (1970’s-1980’s), had the peculiar effect of planting a different landscape in Doherty’s head – of green hills and daffodils – to the one which she physically inhabited – of red earth and droughts. This experience has provided a rich reservoir of images and memories that Doherty draws on, and ceramics, which is rooted in cultural practice and identity, has allowed her to explore this dual consciousness. As a ceramicist and fine artist, Doherty’s work concerns myth-making: by drawing on the past yet bearing witness to the present, she tells stories both to pose and answer specific questions. A background in literature (MA in English) drawing and painting (BA in Fine Art), continues to inform her ceramic output.


MA Ceramics (with Distinction), Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales.
BA Hons Ceramic Design (2.1), Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, Ireland.
BA Fine Art (2.1) Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, Ireland.
MA English, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
BA Hons English, Philosophy, Rhodes University.
BA with Distinction, Rhodes University.

Awards and achievements

2015 Gallery Zozimus Award for Visual Impact
2015 Ceramics Ireland Selected members’ exhibition, Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2013 Masters Degree in Ceramics with Distinction, at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales
2012-2013 Top marks for MA Ceramics mini-thesis and seminar paper at Cardiff Met. University
2012 Irish Ceramic Award, ICCA, hosted by Mill Cove Gallery, Castletownbere, Co. Cork, Ireland 
2012 Top Thesis award, BA (Hons) Ceramics, Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork (CCAD)
2011 Top Thesis Award, BA Fine Art, CCAD.

2023 Decennium, 10th Anniversary Exhibition, SO Fine Art Editions, Dublin
2016 VASE Function Reviewed, curated by Brian Kennedy at National Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny, Ireland, 6August-6November
2016 Irish Ceramic Awards, Mill Cove Gallery, Beara Peninsula, Co Cork, Ireland
2015 Ceramics Ireland Selected Members Exhibition, Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham, Dublin, October-November
2015 Fundraising auction for Anna’s Orphanage, Henchy’s Public House, St Luke’s. Cork, September
2015 Lifting the Bell Jar, Signal Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow, August
2015 Plane Invasion, Limerick School of Art and Design, Limerick, April
2015 Members’ Exhibition, Signal Arts Centre, Bray, Co. Wicklow, March
2015 Members’ Exhibition, Lavitt Gallery, Father Matthew Street, Cork, February
2014 All Fired up, juried exhibition at Zozimus Gallery, French Church Lane, Dublin, Ireland, September –November
2013 Members Exhibition, Ceramics Ireland, Rathfarnam, Dublin, October – November
2013 Fresh, British Ceramic Biennial 2013, Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom. September – November
2013 Drawing between the Lines, Howard Gardens Gallery, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales. June
2013 Irish Ceramics Awards 2013, Mill Cove Gallery, Co. Cork, Ireland, June
2013 Irish Ceramics, Barony Centre, West Kilbride, Scotland, 21 September to 21 November
2012 Irish Ceramic Awards 2012, Mill Cove Gallery, Co. Cork, Ireland. June
2011 transFORM, Farmleigh Gallery Dublin May 2011, Millenium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, August 2011, Limerick School of Art and Design
2011 Work displayed as part of ongoing exhibition at Lavitt Gallery, Cork
2011 FineEARTH, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork, July
2011/2010 Fledglings Exhibition, Lavitt Gallery, Cork, September
2010 Bodega Exhibition, Cornmarket Square, Cork, Ireland, August- November
2010 Bounce, Graduate Exhibition, Tax Office, Sullivan’s Quay, Cork Ireland June
2009 Member’s Exhibition, Lavitt Gallery, Cork, Ireland, February


2016 Pending – ‘Afro-Autobiography.’ My chapter on autobiography and narrative as evident in the work of several South African ceramicists will be published in a book on Contemporary Ceramics in South Africa, edited by Nina Shand, publishers – UNISA press, South Africa.
2016 ‘Upcycling Stereotypes: Telling Stories of Africa’ Interpreting Ceramics, Issue 16, an online, peer-reviewed journal. Dr. Johanna Dahn and Dr Jeffrey Jones et al (eds).
2015 ‘Drawn to Marrakesh: An Artist’s impression of Morocco.’ Ceramics Ireland, issue 35, pp40-42
2014 My work is included in Irish Ceramics 2014, a comprehensive guide to contemporary, Irish ceramic artists living in Ireland and abroad. The book was published by John Goode of Mill Cove Gallery, Co. Cork
2013 ‘Fresh from the Horse’s mouth: a participant’s perspective of the British Ceramic Biennial, 2013’, Ceramics Ireland, Issue 32, pgs. 28-31
2008 ‘It’s not easy being green,’ essay published in The Guardian newspaper