Fiona Byrne-Sutton



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The Angel's Share , ceramic, length 110cm x h: 76cmx d: 26 cm

Blue Peninsula, (after Joseph Cornell), ceramic, crystocal, w:44cm, h:32cm , d:47cm

The Angel's Share, variation, ceramic, crystocal; w25.5cm, h: 31cm, d:33cm

The Angel's Share, variation in green and gold, ceramic, crystocal; w:25cm, h:25.5cm, d:38cm

Golden Gate (after Giotto) ; ceramic, crystocal; w: 25cm, h:27cm, d: 25cm


Fiona's free standing ceramic and crystocal assemblages, go under the name The Angel’s Share, an industry term for the portion of whisky lost in evaporation in the cask barrel. Here however, the phrase is a metaphor for the poetics of the temporal soul.
The soul is domestic. It likes a house, (the rectangles in Fiona's assemblages) and it daydreams in this cosy place. These daydreams share certain properties for the soul reflects on itself through form and image. The rectangle is terrestial and the circle is aerial. There is cosmic tension between the two. In Fiona's work these forms are present as themselves or embedded in motifs such as a shallow box, a recessed lair, a window, a beaker. Her distilled ceramic rectangles and circles are repeated images of interiority locating the angel’s share, within the viewer. It is the human spirit which is immense and sonorous and the viewer completes the work.
The composition, colour and rhythm of the 3 dimensional assemblages are informed by early Italian Renaissance painting; namely Duccio di Buoninsegna’s (d.1319), Maesta, in Siena Cathedral and Giotto di Bondone’s (d.1337), Scrovegni Chapel frescoes, in Padua, Italy. Joseph Cornell's assemblages and the poets Emily Dickinson and Rilke also have their place. Gaston Bachelard's book, The Poetics of Space, is insightful.
The assemblages' material process also engages with 1970s fine art formalist legacy through the repetition of minimalist rectangles, visible process (press moulded clay, monoprinting, collagraphy) and the deconstruction of narrative into discrete components. All photos by Michael Wolchover


Fiona is an artist working through the medium of ceramics. She lives on the Sleat peninsula of the Isle of Skye. In May/ June 2018 she exhibited her assemblages, 'The Angel's Share' at the &andgallery in Edinburgh. Recently, she also represented Scotland on the Scotland: Craft and Design pavilion, London Design Fair 2017; exhibited in the Royal Scottish Academy Summer Open 2017, and in FLY 2016, a Visual Arts Scotland/ Craft Scotland show emphasizing Scottish ceramics. In 2013 Fiona curated the multi-media exhibition, "Changing Ground, land and art" in association with the Barony Centre, supported by a £10,000 Creative Scotland Quality Arts Production grant. That year was she was Runner up at the Emerging Makers Award, ICF, Aberystwyth. Fiona's previous work features in two 2013 books, "Natural Glazes, Collecting and Making" and "Additions to Clay Bodies", publisher: AC&Black. Fiona grew up in Geneva Switzerland, and lived briefly in Italy before moving to London to study Fine Art at Goldsmiths School of Art, followed by an MA in Social Anthropology at Cambridge University. She moved to Scotland in 1988, working as a curator and art journalist and housing officer prior to doing a BA Hons in Ceramics at Glasgow School of Art (2008) and a postgraduate MA,with distinction, at Cardiff School of Art (CSAD) in 2015.
Interview with Fiona Byrne-Sutton at