My practice is concerned with the landscape, investigating a sense of place through collection, documentation and material manipulation. It springs from the draw of pieces of driftwood, certain shapes of stones and odd bits of rusty metal. The presentation of fabricated forms, alongside found objects, drawings and marks strive to show the unremarkable and everyday in ways to fire the viewer’s imagination. These familiar forms pull on memory and the association of moments spent, a material language of an implied landscape, half formed in the viewers mind, showing the richness that surrounds us.
Stuart Cairns is an Irish artist whose practice is concerned with investigating the environment and his relationship with it through walking, photography the collection of found objects. Working as a silversmith Cairns combines natural materials and found objects alongside precious metals to create artifacts in the tradition of tableware, tools and domestic objects. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Silversmithing and Jewellery from the University of Ulster in 2000, returning to complete a Masters degree in 2006. He is a member of the British Designer Silversmiths and a part-time lecturer at the University of Ulster.
Cairns has exhibited widely; selected exhibitions include Silver Speaks, The Victoria & Albert Museum, London 2016, Side to Side, The National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland 2015, Collect , The Saatchi Gallery 2012, Fit For Purpose, The V & A, London (2012) and the Linen Diaspora and the 4th Biennale Internationale du Lin de Portneuf, Quebec (2011). His work has been purchased for both public and private collections including the University of Ulster, The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Ulster Museum. Recently he was the first recipient of the Rosemary James Memorial Trust Award for Craft.