Neill won the Bevere Gallery Graduate Show Award in January 2014 and has been showing at the Gallery since then.
He is an Irish-born ceramic artist, currently resident and working from his studio in Carmarthen. Neill initially took up stained glass construction when he was in his mid 20’s by attending National Diploma course at Belfast Metropolitan College and Dublin’s National College of Art and Design before being accepted at Carmarthen School of Creative Arts to fulfil a Degree in Ceramics.
Within the first year, students are introduced to all the different construction techniques for working with clay and he found throwing to be the most interesting, as well as the challenge of Raku firing, which tests clay to its parameters – pulling the piece out of the red hot 1000°c heat and then starved of oxygen. As well as gaining his Degree, Neill was awarded Student of the Year and offered a year-long residency.
The potter’s wheel is the starting point for his practice. His thrown forms create a three-dimensional ‘canvas’ to show the colour and texture of glaze splashes that accentuate the curve of the vessel. The carbonisation of combustible material sits deep within the walls of the pot, thus marrying the form with the surface. He fires his pots exclusively in the western style of the 16th century Japanese raku firing technique .
His elegant forms show a variation of colours that are controlled by the atmospheric conditions in the firing process. The inspiration for his work comes more from the firing process more than anything else.
He now exhibits widely and has won a number of awards.