Curios About: Fontanelle by Orla O'Regan

Fontanelle By Orla O’Regan Porcelain 4.5 inches by 2.5 inches

1. This work is about . . . fontanelles are soft spots on a baby’s head which, during birth, enable the baby’s head to pass through the birth canal and be born, allowing their head to change shape as the bones slide over each other. Fontanelles remain open for 9 to 18 months, and pulsate, echoing the baby’s heartbeat. This pulsating action is how the soft spot got its name, fontanelle, meaning “little fountain”.

2. I made this work because . . . this time last year I was pregnant and was fascinated by the birthing process. It was a subject so close to my heart that I wanted to create a piece so special to represent what was going to happen within my own body. Porcelain was my choice of material due to its delicate nature, which mimics the delicateness of the baby’s skull and fontanelle.

3. I hope when people see this work they will . . . appreciate how this delicate sculpture piece resembles that of the baby’s skull and how amazing and precious childbirth actually is.

4. In terms of art history, this work . . . a more recent piece which comes to mind relating to the fontanelle is Damien Hirst’s For Heaven’s Sake (2011), a platinum, diamond-encrusted, baby-skull sculpture, moulded from the skull of a baby who died before it was two weeks old. This piece was condemned for its insensitivity to parents who have lost a baby. Fontanelle, in comparison, aims to evoke a sense of respect and awe towards this precious and personal subject matter.

5. You can see my work. . . online here and here.


Curios [sic] About is a series featuring works by Dublin artists, curated for us by our friends at the Square in the Circle blog, and hosted there as well as here.

Each artist is asked to submit an image of one work and answer a set of questions about it. We’d love it if you’d submit something you’ve made.

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