“Niche is part of the inspiration to my current body of work where I am combining figures with elements from nature, seeking to highlight the natural world as a source of comfort, energy and stability. I visited the University of Limerick on a few occasions and was always struck by how beautiful the campus was, the river, the architecture and the art. It is a special place and it was a real pleasure to create a sculpture that would be part of that. Being in a University and how you might change over your time there was really the inspiration for this particular piece. I wanted to make a strong reflective sculpture that would be about finding your place in the world. University is the first real time that you start to choose your path in life. So this strong figure with head bowed in reverence to the beginning of this journey emerged. Two trees grow from the back of the hands symbolizing a deep desire for personal growth and self-discovery. The figure stands on the tips of the toes yet is balanced and strong.
As soon as I saw the large plaza area with the beautiful buildings I knew the piece had to be tall to draw the eyes skyward. It was important to combine weathering steel with the polished bronze, the industrial with the precious” – Orla de Bri 2016
Read the full interview here – https://www.ul.ie/ullinks/features-opinions/niche-arrives