TORC BY EILEEN SINGLETON [PRIZE WINNER – SCULPTURE IN CONTEXT 2019]
Eileen has won the Irish Ceramics Award 2019 at Sculpture in Context at the National Botanic Gardens Dublin.
Eileen studied ceramics in Limerick school of Art and Design and graduated in 1983. Her sculptural pieces are inspired by the landscape where she lives in West Waterford. In 2013 she won an Award from Mill Cove Gallery and in 2014 she won the Irish Ceramics Awards.
A torc is a large rigid or stiff neck ring in metal, made either as a single piece or from strands twisted together. The great majority are open at the front, although some had hook and ring closures and a few had mortice and tenon locking catches to close them. Many seem designed for near-permanent wear and would have been difficult to remove. Torcs are found in the Scythian, Illyrian, Thracian, Celtic, and other cultures of the European Iron Age from around the 8th century BC to the 3rd century AD. For the Iron Age Celts the gold torc seems to have been a key object, identifying the wearer as a person of high rank, and many of the finest works of ancient Celtic art are torcs. The Celtic torc disappears in the Migration Period, but during the Viking Age torc-style metal necklaces, now mainly in silver, came back into fashion. Torc styles of neck-ring are found as part of the jewellery styles of various other cultures and periods.