Natural textures, handcrafted forms: the sculpture of Mary Hourihan Lynch

“Full Fathom Five,”
oil on canvas

More than 30 years ago, Mary Hourihan Lynch stared out at the Breton coast and had an artistic realization: “the flat rectangular canvas was insufficient to interpret my view of the scene.” Since then, she’s striven to depict the world around her in curves, shadows, and raised surfaces—three-dimensional visions of a complex world.

Whether crafting a sprawling installation for the U.S. Embassy in Zambia or smaller, food-inspired sculptures for an Annapolis restaurant, Lynch is continuously immersed in artistic creation, but she recently found a quiet moment to sit down with a writer from élan magazine.
The December 2012 issue of élan features four pages of Lynch’s artwork accompanied by her insights into the creative process, with a particular focus on her eye for textures, colors, and forms:

On her drive from the Torpedo Factory to her home in Churchton next to the Chesapeake Bay, she passes plowed fields and barns. Sometimes these views find their way into her small pieces . . . One small piece was inspired by plowed fields in the snow. Another, a horizontal rectangle with raised vertical lines, reminds her of tree forms…

“Sacred Spaces,”
oil on canvas

Pick up the latest issue of élan to read more about Lynch’s interpretation of Breton cliff fossils, her hard fabric sculptures of sea creatures, and her three-dimensional tributes to favorite artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe—perceptive expressions of nature in art.

Discuss a commission with Mary Hourihan Lynch in Torpedo Factory studio 339, and view online galleries of her sculpture at

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