07 December 2019

The meditative sculptures
by Bettina Seitz in the
gardens at Markree Castle

The sculptures by Bettina Seitz at Markree Castle are worth searching for (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

Hidden away from many of the guests at weddings at Markree Castle in Co Sligo, the sculptures by Bettina Seitz are worth searching out in the gardens and courtyards at the home farm courtyard and walled garden at this charming wedding venue.

Bettina Seitz has worked from her studio in Sligo since 1993. Stylising the human form, her sculptures in bronze or stone composite often possess an ethereal and meditative quality.

Bettina Seitz was born in Germany in 1963. She has studied sculpture in NĂ¼rtingen, Germany, and Turin, Italy. She has also worked with the Sligo ceramicist Michael Kennedy, and is now based in Sligo.

Aspects of nature and emotion inform her investigation into shape and line, particularly those of the female body. She excels in the stylisation of the female form into flowing and voluptuous curves.

She works mainly in bronze and ceramic sculptures designed for private gardens and public spaces. She has exhibited her work regularly in Ireland and Europe and has worked on many private and public commissions, including portrait commissions.

She has exhibited in many countries, including Ireland, Britain, the US, Germany, France and Italy, and she has worked on many private and public commissions in Ireland and abroad.

Her work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Boyle Civic Collection, the McCann Fitzgerald Collection in Dublin, the Chinthurst Sculpture Garden in Surrey, and collections in Saudi Arabia, Britain, the US, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and South Africa.

Her commissioned work in Co Sligo includes sculptures at Nazareth House Nursing Home, Sligo, and commission for the Homefarm at Markree Castle in 2002 and 2005.

She also designed the Volta Award for the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival in 2007.

Her sculptural practice is concerned with our connection to the other – from how we relate as human beings to each other, to how we relate to the ‘Other’ in the sense of our interconnection with everything and other dimensions.

In her work, Bettina Seitz explores the experience of being, that is aware of and must confront issues such as personhood, mortality and the dilemma or paradox of living in relationships with other humans, while being alone with oneself.

Using a wide range of techniques and materials, including resin, concrete, aluminium and bronze, she strives to evoke a sense of stillness and lightness in her sculpture installations of highly stylised, often life-size human forms.

Her work ‘Ghosts’ – a series of site responsive, life-size sculptures – reflects on our connection to the past and the disempowerment of women in Irish society and recent history.

Using various techniques, including casting over life models, modelling, reinforcing and assembling in Jesmonite acrylic resin, fabric and glass fibre, ‘Ghosts’ ran as a pilot project in December 2016 with temporary installations in public buildings, including The Model, Sligo Courthouse and Sligo Cathedral.

The sculptures by Bettina Seitz at the homefarm and courtyards in Markree Castle were commissioned in 2002 and 2005 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

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