Human evolution and development are of great interest to Orla. How we analyse ourselves examine our shadow and ego, and how we connect with our surroundings is always explored in her work. In solo shows this is expressed with a body of work.
With individual pieces they can be inspired by observations, about the self and our society - sometimes sculpting her own emotional landscape.
As we grow in awareness, we realize that society demands that we separate our behaviour into acceptable and unacceptable, ego and shadow. But these unacceptable characteristics in our personality do not go away. We carry them with us, and so the shadow making process begins. This is an intriguing side of our persona and one that emerges in Orla’s work.
The ‘She Bull’ and ‘She Stag’ pieces explore overt sexuality sometimes encouraged in men and suppressed in women. These pieces combine the maleness of the bull with the sensuality of a woman.
With ‘Maverick Limb’ and ‘Maverick Feet’ a part of your persona emerges that you hadn’t seen before, taking you by surprise reminding us that life is a journey of discovery and self-discovery.
With ‘Spot the happy One’ the artist wants you to peer through the magnifying glass and choose a contented figure. There is no right and wrong answer; whom you choose depends on your perspective.
The shadow and the ego side of our personality and our need to return to a whole and balanced person has inspired Orla’s work.
Each piece tells a story; together they paint a bigger picture.
“To honour and accept one’s own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline. It is whole-making and thus the most important experience of a life time”
Robert A. Johnson.