Nuala Creed

Social Commentary

Pondering what society considers acceptable.



For thousands of years patriarchal society has been the norm in most cultures of the world. Many of our most popular founding myths (from Greco-Roman and Christian cultures) are based on a patriarchal society.

Persephone was raped by Haides and was forced to marry him. Her father Zeus was a philandering rapist.

The Virgin Mary didn’t fare much better. She did not choose her pregnancy. God sent the angel Gabriel to announce that she was having his child. She had no say in the matter.

With my goddess series I want people to ponder on the origins of patriarchy in the hope that it will promote an awareness of women’s plight in a male dominated society and the need for change.


Boys Will Be Girls


These figures were originally inspired by my five years of living in the Castro in San Francisco. The boldness of the drag queens along with the uninhibited spirit I encountered there impressed me. They are memories of characters that I have met or seen in a crowd or on the street. They are the quirky awkward people at a party. They are imbued with the spirit and courage of Drag Queens: to be oneself regardless of criticism.

My sculpture “They,” is the visual representation of the non-binary identities. Gender neutral people may fluctuate between genders and often refer to themselves as "they." 


Castro Fairies


The “Castro Fairies” appear in 500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form (Lark Books, 2007).


Cautionary Tale


With ''Cautionary Tale,'' I use Marie Antoinette as a symbol of opulence referring to the 1%.



This body of work explores childhood. I have always been intrigued by children's unique expressions and perspectives on life.

For “Fledglings,” I have sculpted a number of children in ceramics. They are rendered without heads or limbs — their physical forms fill out the clothes they wear.

Each sculpture represents a unique child. Their clothes and body language reflect their individual personalities. Some of the children are grouped in pairs or trios, revealing a range of possible dynamics in relationships between children.

As the butterfly nourishes itself on its disintegrated  caterpillar body, we are nurtured by our childhood.
— Nuala Creed



"Mea Culpa" is Latin for "through my fault." It is part of Catholic Mass. It is said by the priest and the congregation together, in atonement for their sins. With my piece "Mea Culpa," the young alter boy is looking for forgiveness for something that has happened to him, that he knows is wrong. Perhaps he blames himself for the abuse inflicted on him, as is common with young children. He wears a bishop's hat. It symbolizes the real sinners.

In “Penance,” the alter boy is giving his version of penance. Though defecating into the bishop's hat may be a sin, it pales in comparison to the mortal sins he has endured. This act of contrition empowers the child.

The Catholic Church is mired in controversy, corruption and scandal over its mishandling of sexual abuse of children and its internal squabbling. Yet it still shows its moral superiority by issuing decrees on such subjects as family planning, women’s place in the church, and homosexuality, which it regards as a mortal sin. Recent news reveals that there is indeed a homosexual lobby in the inner sanctums of the Vatican. “Papal Blessing” symbolizes the hypocrisy of their sanctimonious morals.

Trans Teapot


I am using the ubiquitous teapot as a polite entry point to introduce the conversation of transgender people and their plight.

We have all had a feeling of not fitting in from time to time – at school with the cool kids, or at a party or among work colleagues. Imagine not fitting in your body with your gender and having society tell you that you are a freak.

Transgender people are often discriminated against in society in general just for being who they are. Surely it is time for us all to open our minds and hearts and embrace our differences.

I think we may find there is a lot we can learn from those considered the Other in this time of polarization and social bubbles.