Oomka the Polar Bear

Helen O’Connell

Italian Carrara marble
DIMENSIONS: 60 x 46 x 40cm

Helen Oconnell Headshot 600

About Helen O'Connell

Wicklow based sculptor Helen O'Connell works from her studio by the sea in Bray. Her sculpture is inspired by organic forms found in nature, Japanese design aesthetics and Ireland's ancient relationship of working with stone. Her sculpture seeks to draw attention to the epic scale of geological time contained in these stones and their fossils.

After graduating from Trinity College Dublin, Helen studied stone sculpture in Leitrim Sculpture Centre, in Nicoli Studios in Cararra, Italy, and in the marble quarries of Alentejo, Portugal. Her work is in many public and private collections in Ireland and abroad and she is currently a member of 'Homo Faber' (a celebration of European excellence in craftsmanship) and the Michelangelo Foundation.

Where did Oomka get her name?

Oomka was given her name by 12-year old Sasha, who submitted her suggestion following a call out by The Ark for children to name our new Polar Bear. Sasha sent in the following story about why she thought Oomka would make the perfect name for Helen's bear:


My name is Sasha. I think your new polar bear should be named Oomka or Oomie. I am half russian and in Russia there is a cartoon about a white polar bear, Oomka. This was also my favourite dog's name, who was put down last Saturday. I love him so so so much! He was the best dog EVER!!!! I will miss him a lot and I think it would be great to name a polar bear just like him! See the picture attached - don't they look alike (Oomka the polar bear and my dog?)

Find out more here.