Artist Statement

In contrast to the latest i-gadget which “you already know how to use”, my abstract tools provoke people to ask “what’s it for?” Visitors to historical tool collections often ask the same question. If the tools of 50 years ago are already meaningless, these functionless versions are no less relevant. Flimsy and elongated, they distance the hand from their working parts and are difficult to control. Handcrafted, they embody at least some of the skills they seek to uphold.
Making is in our nature, but increasingly “work” is accomplished by clicking buttons, and “making” is something we watch others master on reality TV. As individuals continue to consume more than they produce, we are collectively forgetting skills that once sustained everyday life. Memory is strengthened by repetition, so my work addresses 7 archetypal tasks over and over again: brush, scoop, poke, cut, rake, look, hit. It is an act of remembering.

Film Makers Documentation by TACA Works

Experimental Gastronomy by Steinbeisser


After a successful career in event management, I left London in 2008 to join the full-time degree course in 3D Materials Practice at the University of Brighton, graduating in June 2011.

In the process of my studies, it became clear that the time had come to move back to Northern Ireland. So in spring 2013 I exchanged my London flat for a lovely old farmhouse next to my family home in County Antrim. With my workshop established in one of the stone barns, I continue to explore the theme of work and tools.


Download CV

BBC Radio Ulster Interview 2015

Selected Exhibitions

  • Contained, Frocess Yard, August Craft Month 2018
  • Intersection (solo show) Flowerfield Arts Centre August 2018
  • ForM Walled Garden Bangor Castle June 2018
  • Film Makers, Nerve Visual Derry, November 2017-January 2018
  • Film Makers, The Braid, Ballymena July-August 2017
  • Five artists show in a byre, August Craft Month 2017
  • Works of the Heart, Toast, Westbourne Grove, London Feb 2017
  • Spoon Unit Twelve Gallery, Staffordshire Sept-Dec 2016
  • Five artists show in a byre 2016 Ballymena August 2016
  • The Myriad Possibilities of Needle & Thread Top Floor Art, Saintfield August 2016
  • Film Makers, R-Space Gallery Lisburn 2016
  • Natural Makers, Touchstones Rochdale, December 2015-February 2016
  • Five artists show in a byre, Ballymena, August 2015
  • RDS National Craft Competition, Dublin, June 2014
  • The Art of Craft, Marketplace Arts Centre, Armagh, May-June 2014
  • MADE 2014, Space CRAFT, Belfast, March-April 2014
  • Hand Crafted, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham, January – March 2014
  • Make it Slow, Art Unpacked, Yorkshire, October 2013 – November 2014
  • In the House, Out of the House, Castle Ward & Space CRAFT, Aug-Oct 2013
  • Utility, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff, January -March 2013
  • Dazzle, National Theatre, London, November 2012- January 2013
  • Art and Domesticity, Studio Fusion Gallery, Oxo Tower,  September 2012
  • New Designers One Year On, June 2012
  • Things That Fall in Between, R-Space, Lisburn, May/June 2012
  • South Square Gallery, Bradford, November/December 2011
  • Mint Explores, London, September 2011
  • New Designers, London, July 2011


  • 2008-2011 University of Brighton BA(Hons) 3D Materials Practice (WMCP) First Class Hons
  • 2007-2008 Camberwell College of Art London Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • 1987-1991 Thames Polytechnic London BSc(Hons) Applied Biology 2:1
  • 1980-1987 Ballymena Academy Co Antrim Northern Ireland

Awards & Public Collections

  • 2017 Mid & East Antrim Council Collection (Mark Making, Peat Charcoal, 2017)
  • 2014 RDS, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland Purchase Award (Thicker than Water, 2014)
  • 2014 RDS National Craft Competition, Mixed Materials Medal (Thicker than Water, 2014)


  • Community artist, Northern Health & Social Care Trust 2018-ongoing
  • Project marketing and impact tracking, Shuttles and Shafts 2017-ongoing
  • Project Artist, Arts Care, Here & Now Festival 2017-18
  • Joint Curator: Form Function & Food, R-Space Gallery, 2016
  • On Your Marks, documentation published March 2016
  • Visiting Lecturer University of Brighton, January – March 2013
© Sharon Adams 2018-19