Sasha Sykes with her sculptural chimney piece *As I Am Now* at Aldborough House in Ireland.
Photo: Donal Moloney

Sasha Sykes

The Irish artist conjures otherworldly pieces that meld furniture and sculpture

Irish artist Sasha Sykes creates ethereal works by casting flowers, grasses, branches, and other foraged items in resins and acrylics to create multi-panel screens, tables, and decorative objects. “My pieces have a certain boldness to their form that balances the delicate nature of many of the natural materials,” says Sykes, who originally studied architecture. “Landmark pieces, such as Straw cube, Carlow chair, The Wall, and As I Am Now, have really excited me with scale, engineering, and pushing the limits of what can be done with resin. I keep thinking bigger.”

Sykes, Gyre, 2016. Photo: Kellie French, Courtesy of the artist and Voltz Clarke Gallery

New surprises: “I worked in acrylics at first, but when I wanted to show natural elements with stronger colors, I knew I would need an alternative medium and that’s where resin came in. Almost 20 years later, I’m still making ‘discoveries.’ I was doing the Gyre (Ophelia) screen, and when the resin caught the inside of the egg wrack pods, it turned it to an incredibly beautiful warm gold. It’s such an unpredictable and magic material.”

Sasha Sykes working on one of her artful screens. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Voltz Clarke Gallery

Finding inspiration: “Living in cities like London and New York then moving back to where I grew up in rural Ireland helped me see these two very different aspects to the world today. I have been working on a series called ‘Trove.’ So much of it has to do with the collapse of imperialism, so I found myself obsessively looking at corbels in Rome, and I dragged my family to see India Gate in Delhi after Christmas.”

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Bloom!, 2015. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Voltz Clarke Gallery
Helichrysums Cocktail Side Table, 2018. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Voltz Clarke Gallery

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Spring Issue under the headline Creative Minds. Subscribe to the magazine.

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