Vivienne Roche is a sculptor who lives and works near the sea in Co. Cork, Ireland

Over the last 35 years she has worked in large-scale bronze, glass, steel, sailcloth, stuccodore plaster, and reconfigured landscape.  Drawing, watercolour and photography have also been central to her work. Her artistic themes derive from site-specific dialogues between architecture and sculpture, the emotional resonances of the coastal landscape in which she lives, relationships between male and female, archaeology sites and their artefacts, and between music and the visual.  Light has been a central focus as is evidenced in commissioned artworks such as NC Iris (2006), Whitelight Garden (2006), Light Ensemble (2008) and Light House (2009)

She is a member of Aosdána and the Royal Hibernian Academy, a former member of the Arts Council (1993-1998), a founder member and first chairperson of the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, and the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from University College Cork (2006) and of Cork Institute of Technology Alumni Award (2010). She is a member of the Board of the National Gallery of Ireland (2015-18).

She has exhibited widely in Ireland and has participated in a number of exhibitions internationally, notably in Sweden, Finland and France.  She is represented in public and private collections in Ireland, and abroad, and has created many large-scale public commissions throughout Ireland.


Selected Public Collections

The Arts Council/ An Comhairle Ealaíon; Contemporary Irish Arts Society; AIB. Cork Institute of Technology Cork School of Music; Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; Cork City Council; Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane; Dublin Dental Hospital; Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; Dublin Castle; Fingal County Council; National Self-Portrait Collection, University of Limerick; Office of Public Works; University College Cork; University College Dublin; Trinity College Dublin; Limerick City Council; Mayo County Council; Wicklow County Council; Wexford County Council; Tyndal Institute, UCC; Sandvikens Commune, Sweden.

Private Collections in Ireland, U.K, France, Sweden, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands and U.S.A.

  • Her first public commission was a memorial sculpture to President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh in Co.Kerry (1983).  The abstract steel sculpture, Memorial to Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, depicts the seascape in Sneem, where President Ó Dálaigh chose to live after he resigned the Presidency.

  • Sentinel (1994), outside St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, and Liberty Bell (1988) inside St. Patrick's Cathedral Park in Dublin, both respond to their historic setting, using the metaphor of sound, Viking reference and existing architectural features, to extend their reach.

  • Plumbline in Dublin Castle (1995), Inclination (after Degas’s ‘The Acrobat’) in The Tyndall National Institute UCC (1996), Wave Shadow in The Dublin Dental Hospital (1999), and Flow in the Council Chamber of Fingal County Hall (2002) are all largescale public art works that respond dynamically to their architectural environment.

  • Large-scale temporary installations made during this time include Windflip in Orebro, Sweden (1989), and Ompholos in Charroux Abbey, near Poitiers, France (1996)

  • Other permanent works have light as a central theme.  NC Iris  (2006) is a 14.5 metre-high sculpture in Mayor Square Dublin, which utilises the moiré effects of specially designed stainless-steel as a canvas for changing coloured light which is computer-controlled.

  • Whitelight Garden in Parkwest (Dublin) was completed in 2006. This is a land-sculpted, three-acre public garden by day and a major light-artwork by night.  It traces the archaeology of the Early Christian Burial site over which it is made.  Whitelight Garden won the Business2arts Judges Special Recognition Award in 2007.

  • Light Ensemble (2008) in CIT Cork School of Music is another award-winning work. This suite of three large site-specific pieces (painting, plaster-relief, and sculpture) is a sculptural homage to  architecture, music and time.  Each constitutive work enables the ways in which light falls within the building's atria to becoming substantial, the painting and the plaster work on specific  days in the calendar year. 
  • Light House, a poem-sculpture in glass, is a collaboration with the poet Derek Mahon.  Four metres high and made in layers of fused-glass, within which the poem is suspended, it was made for the new Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gealtacht  HQ in Killarney in 2009.  The optical qualities of the poem within layers of glass give a unique reading point for each person, which depends on their height. 

  • Bray Hare, completed in 2009, is a playful piece of sculpture as theatre, with an elusive glass hare at centre stage.  Made for the local authority-funded leisure centre in Bray, Co Wicklow, the steel, glass and light work makes reference to the story by Ted Hughes, 'How the Hare Became'.

  • Vivienne Roche was part of the design team with MOLA Architecture, which delivered the Diving Bell project for Dublin Port.  Located on Sir John Rogerson's Quay, the Diving Bell has been re-interpreted as an  industrial artefact which helped to shape the port of Dublin. It was opened to the public in 2016.

  • 2022
  • 2015 Three Centuries of Irish Art Crawford Art Gallery Collection ed. Peter Murray, Gandon Editions, Co. Cork
  • 2014 Sculpture 1660-2000 Art and Architecture of Ireland, Vol.3 by Jacquie Moore, ed. Paula Murphy, Royal Irish Academy, Yale University Press
  • 2013 Irish Arts Review, Spirit and Light by Brian MCAvera
  • 2012 Traces of Peter Rice, Cameo 4 Vivienne Roche ed. Kevin Barry, The Lilliput Press
  • 2009 Irish Arts Review, 25th Anniversary Edition.  Personal selection by Brian McAvera
  • 2008 Architecture Ireland, review of Light Ensemble by Muireann Molloy
  • 2006 Limited Edition of poems by Derek Mahon with drawings by Vivienne Roche (Gallery Press)
  • 2006 Irish Arts Review, winter 2006 Of Night and Light by Yvonne Scott
  • 2006 NC IRIS (essays by Brian O’Doherty (Patrick Ireland) and Merritt Bucholtz)
  • 1999 Profile – Vivienne Roche, introduction by Aidan Dunne, essay by Ciarán Benson (Gandon Editions)
  • 1999 Vivienne Roche – Tidal Erotics, introduction by Sebastian Barry (Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin)
  • 1992 Works 2 – Vivienne Roche, ed. John O’Regan, interview by Vera Ryan (Gandon Editions)
  • 1990 Edge to Edge – Three sculptors from Ireland, ed. John O’Regan, interview by Johnny Hanrahan (Gandon Editions)