Having grown up in suburban Dublin, Lorna Donlon lived for many years in the countryside of Co. Kilkenny, before recently returning to live in the Big Smoke. She loves trees and gardens and nature and inevitably she will have an interesting leaf, flower, or ‘curious-oddity-for-further-inspection’ in her pocket. Her greatest annoyance in life is her hair. She has never succeeded in putting manners on it. It also has a tendency to trap random bits and pieces of nature, completely without her knowledge. Despite the fact that a lot of her work centres around birds and their behaviour she admires them from a very safe distance and is in fact absolutely terrified of them!
Lorna trained as a tapestry weaver and textile artist. A self-confessed magpie, she collects, orders, assembles and exhibits objects or bits and pieces of things she finds as she goes about her day. Transient, incidental, valued or treasured, she is interested in the stories these objects tell and in how they act on the imagination when placed in curious arrangement with each other.
In 2020 Lorna graduated with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from UCD School of Biology & Environmental Science and became the 2020/21 UCD Conway Institute Artist-in-Residence, in partnership with UCD Parity Studios and through funding from the Wellcome Trust. She also has an appreciation of the patient experience from her time working in a palliative care setting as a healthcare assistant.
In 2021 Lorna won the Golden Fleece Award, Ireland’s largest and most prized artistic fund supporting artists and creative practitioners working across all visual art, craft and applied arts disciplines. This award supported her efforts to start making large scale hand woven tapestries inspired by stories of science research and the natural world.
She is currently UCD College of Science Artist in Residence.