Nicoli Sculpture Studios

Drawn to sculpture while in his teens, Eoghan was at first attracted to metal, and participated in a number of metalworking courses at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, and elsewhere.

However, over a period of several years, he became increasingly interested in carved sculpture, especially in stone. This passion finally led him to Carrara in Italy, where he was able to enrol at the Scuola del Marmo on an intensive nine-month course designed to train artisans to carve sculpture in marble and stone. Teaching was concentrated on technique, rather than creativity, allowing students to hone their carving skills without the distraction or pressure of the need to express in the immediate term.

For the following year, Eoghan took ‘un banco’ (a carving bench) at the historic Nicoli Sculpture Studios, where he was able to begin free carving. There he worked in the midst of professional sculptors, all of whom were very free in giving technical advice – and critiques. To work in a milieu in which pieces by Louise Bourgeois or Antoine Poncet were being carved, and sculptors from all over the world were creating their own artworks in marble or stone, was the opportunity of a lifetime. Eoghan took full advantage, not only progressing technically and artistically, but also broadening his horizons in every sense.

An interest in antique sculpture led him to embark on a four-year course in the conservation and restoration of stone and marble sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara. Aimed primarily at training conservators, students were nonetheless given a good grounding in the traditional basics of art – drawing, modelling in clay, mould-making and history of art, thereby providing an additional set of skills perfectly complementary to sculpting stone.

Eoghan now carves to commission, and, after a hiatus due to academic studies — of Italian medieval sculpture — and other diversions, he has also once again begun to create his own work.