Curios About: The Garden of Earthly Delights by Aoife Ward

The Garden of Earthly Delights Aoife Ward Clay sculptures, knitting needles, artificial grass, chair

1. This work is about . . . mental illness, and how our glorious country treats those who suffer with it. It’s a comical look at an issue that the Irish government will soon have to face head-on.

2. I made this work because . . . I needed to make some objects that understood me. It’s important that artworks come from an honest place, and this installation is my insides turned out. Disembodied limbs weigh down an Irish landscape of green grass and old-fashioned furniture, the aesthetic of a tearful evening in front of Nationwide.

3. I hope when people see this work they will . . . recognise their granny, their neighbour, their plumber, a lover or themselves in it. Suffering with horrible thoughts is incredibly isolating, even when you’re surrounded by loving friends and family. Art and music should be a comforting ally when all else fails.

4. In terms of art history, this work . . . looks at madness as much as Van Gogh did, but lives more comfortably in the angsty Internet Age. The title of the work tips the hat to Hieronymus Bosch’s triptych depicting heaven, hell, and the space in between where we choose to resist or give in to temptation. In some ways, little has changed since the Renaissance. That which feels natural is destructive, and the most rational road is the hardest to take.

5. You can see my work . . . online, where all the cool kids hang.

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.

Filed under:


Square in the Circle: Square in the Circle is a blog featuring responses to contemporary art. You can find it at

Reader responses

Log in to write a response.

Understand your city

We do in-depth, original reporting about the issues that shape Dublin. We're not funded by advertisers. We're funded by readers like you.

You can read 3 more free articles this month. If you’re a subscriber, log in.

The work we do isn't possible without our subscribers. We're a reader-funded cooperative. We are not funded or influenced by advertising. For as little as the price of a pint every month, you can support local journalism in your city.