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The Flying Angel (Princes Dock Street, Belfast)<span>Preview</span>

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Saints and Scholars (Tullamore Bypass, Co.Offaly)<span>Preview</span>

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MAURICE HARRON

Maurice Harron was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying at Ulster College of Art & Design, he taught at …

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ABOUT ME

Maurice Harron was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. After studying at Ulster College of Art & Design, he taught at St. Joseph’s College of Education, Belfast, Convent of Mercy, Belfast, St. Columb’s College, Derry and Lumen Christi College, Derry. In 1983 he began working at painting and sculpture. He had one-man exhibitions in City Hall, Sligo in 1987, and Heritage Library, Derry in 1989.

For the last 18 years he has worked to address issues of belief, ethnicity and political tension through his sculpture. Working in public locations, he has made works which explore themes connected to social, historical and cultural identity.

 

Saints and Scholars (Tullamore Bypass, Co.Offaly)<span>Preview</span>
The Flying Angel (Princes Dock Street, Belfast)<span>Preview</span>
The Workers ( The Dry Arch Roundabout in Letterkenny Co. Donegal)<span>Preview</span>
The Wedding Couple (Inishowen Co Donegal)<span>Preview</span>
Painting<span>Preview</span>
Painting2<span>Preview</span>
Owl statue<span>Preview</span>
Painting<span>Preview</span>
The Rabble Children  ( Letterkenny Co. Donegal)<span>Preview</span>
Let the Dance Begin  (Lifford Bridge in Strabane, Co. Tyrone)<span>Preview</span>
Sport Sculpture in the village of Donemana, Co. Tyrone<span>Preview</span>
Painting1<span>Preview</span>
Statue4<span>Preview</span>
Red Hugh O’ Donnell (Donegal Town Co. Donegal)<span>Preview</span>
Barge Horse - Bronze<span>Preview</span>
Reconcilition/Hands Across the Divide in Carlisle Square, Derry<span>Preview</span>
The Time Capsule<span>Preview</span>
House<span>Preview</span>
Statue 6<span>Preview</span>
Gaelic Chieftain,  sited in the Curlew Mountains, County Roscommon<span>Preview</span>
Artwork showcase<span>WATCH</span>

Steps out of the shadows

October 20, 2014

Maurice Harron has produced some of the most popular sculptures in the country. I asked a prominent art historian about his work. “Maurice who?” he said. Images of Harron’s sculptures have graced newspaper and magazine pages, have featured in advertisements and television documentaries. His image of two men reaching out to shake hands in Derry, […]

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Steps out of the shadows

October 20, 2014 . By admin . Leave Comment

Maurice Harron has produced some of the most popular sculptures in the country. I asked a prominent art historian about his work. "Maurice who?" he said. Images of Harron's sculptures have graced newspaper and magazine pages, have featured in advertisements and television documentaries. His image of two men reaching out to shake hands in Derry, has become an icon of the peace process.

His 18ft high trio of figures on the Donegal-Derry border at Strabane was, he says, the country's largest public sculpture until the erection of Dublin's Spire.

His 15ft horseback 'Chieftain' in Roscommon is the country's most popular public sculpture, according to a RTE online poll. And yet Harron's name is virtually unknown.

"I'm not in the least bit 'hard cheesed' about it," says Harron. "Where public art is concerned, the name doesn't matter. Once you put something like that up, you forget it. It becomes part of public property and the public imagination."

Born in Donegal and raised in Derry, Harron studied at the Ulster College of Art and Design and then taught art. In 1989, he entered a competition to provide a sculpture at the entrance to Derry. His first idea was a sculpture of two men staring at each other, signifying the animosity that existed between the two communities. But as he worked on his entry, trying to capture this troubled relationship, he changed his mind.

Instead he made his two figures reach out and shake hands, and called it 'Reconciliation'. The idea won Harron the competition, but as the deadline for casting the figures approached, he made a crucial alteration. "I separated the men a bit, so the hands don't meet." This reconciliation was "an 'in progress' thing"...

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Work of Maurice Harron

September 11, 2014

Someone once lamented that there was less sculpture, more statues in Northern Ireland. This is not so today and for the upcoming month at The Gordon gallery. ‘Reflection in Form’ is a startlingly eclectic exhibition of sculpture by the artist Maurice Harron. Maurice Harron is internationally known for his public sculpture. He is the creator […]

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Work of Maurice Harron

September 11, 2014 . By admin . Leave Comment

Someone once lamented that there was less sculpture, more statues in Northern Ireland. This is not so today and for the upcoming month at The Gordon gallery. ‘Reflection in Form’ is a startlingly eclectic exhibition of sculpture by the artist Maurice Harron.

Maurice Harron is internationally known for his public sculpture. He is the creator of the bronze figures ‘Hands across the Divide’ at the west end of Craigavon Bridge. This exhibition is an opportunity to view works of a smaller scale. It provides testament to his artistic versatility and gives us a chance to view his work more intimately.

Here we can see the art of the universal from a Derry-born artist exhibiting locally. Bronze and steel are his materials; the themes are universal – life, love and its absence, relationships – to each other and to ourselves, in short; the joy and suffering of ordinary human existence. It is the artist’s reflection on forms in life embodied through craftsmanship; the immaterial made material and aesthetic.

Unyielding metal has been hewn and welded into forms that reflect the figure of humanity, animal and nature. The materials skilfully and vividly render naturalistic essences; the subtle characteristics of the human body, the energy and movement of an animal. There are moments of real bleakness and despair but also humour and joy. Depictions of our alienation and separation from each other are offset by a man happily striding with his dog, the ballerina en pose, the sailor in flight across the sea and the playful smile on the cat - carefree moments in a world ‘full of care’. We are quite obviously doomed but there is still much to celebrate. We are given a chance to ‘stand and stare’ and these reflections in form become reflections on our collective selves and self-reflection.

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The artist juxtaposes beauty in form with some harsh realities. ‘Constraints’ is an understated title for a figure suspended within a cage of metal rods, the body pinnacled and contorted through a sort of multi-crucifixion. The title suggests the individual at odds with the bounds of society. The sculpture depicts something altogether more disturbing; a person painfully frozen and debilitated, trapped with no way out. ‘Couple’ is a sculpting in bronze of a man and woman standing within a stainless steel frame, an open cage. Presumably they are free to step out of the cage but each grasps the sides and also each other in a semi-confrontational pose in which they look in opposite directions. ‘Man and Woman’ is two figures in bronze with their backs to each other. They are near to each other but indifferent; in the act of departure. Separation, isolation and even separation in connectedness are represented.

A flattened tableau of what looks to be molten residue, amorphous ashes curling outwards from a metal plane is one of the more abstract pieces in the group. This non-figurative work evokes an atmosphere of the post-apocalyptic. It is as if all the substance of the world has been melted down to produce a tragic-looking mess; the destructive left-over of humanity. Perhaps it is the apocalypse of art itself. There is nothing too harmonious to view here. It is in direct contradiction to the refinement and vitality of the other works.

This is sculpture which delights in expressiveness and provokes thought; metal reflecting light and casting shadows. There are also brush and ink paintings and charcoal drawings. I have said that the exhibition is ‘an opportunity’ to view the work of Maurice Harron. On seeing the art on display in the exemplary Gordon gallery, I would say that it is more than just an opportunity, it is a must-see event.

Reflection in Form runs until October 31 at The Gordon gallery, Pump St


By Josie Muldowney

Culture Northern Ireland

September 11, 2014

Maurice Harron at his debut exhibition in Derry, the prolific sculptor reveals his creative process, and how he finds inspiration at home and abroad It seems that few people know who made some of the most visible and popular public sculptures in Ireland. I meet the prolific Maurice Harron at the Gordon Gallery in Derry, […]

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Culture Northern Ireland

September 11, 2014 . By admin . Leave Comment

Maurice Harron at his debut exhibition in Derry, the prolific sculptor reveals his creative process, and how he finds inspiration at home and abroad

It seems that few people know who made some of the most visible and popular public sculptures in Ireland. I meet the prolific Maurice Harron at the Gordon Gallery in Derry, where his first exhibition, Reflection in Form, is on display. We talk first about the famous works - 'Reconciliation', 'Let the Dance Begin', 'The Chieftain', 'The Angel' - before Harron reflects on the more intimate pieces on show.

A Derry man, Harron grew up in the Rosemount district, which he describes as a ‘mixed world’. Of the Troubles he says, 'It was a shock when the violence erupted, fracturing a whole society. I left and went to the south of Ireland, where I made a life for myself as a painter and designer. But in 1989, while shots were still being fired, I returned home.'

In November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down; Glasnost and Perestroika thawed the Cold War, and Harron won a competition for a public work in Carlisle Square in Derry, visible to all visiting the Walled City at the foot of the Craigavon Bridge.

Maurice Harron For this piece, Harron created two classically formal bronze figures, both male, upright, confident and assured, their faces revealing little emotion. At first he imagined they would shake hands. In the end, however, he decided that their outstretched arms would complete the gesture, and the symbolism. The figures stand on a base the shape of a double spiral, an ancient Celtic symbol.

'In my vanity I thought I could prompt dialogue between the two communities,' Harron confesses. 'The men stand at the end of two separate histories, facing each other, reaching out, almost touching.'

'Reconciliation' was erected in 1991, as the Peace Process got underway. When, in the mid 1990s, the first IRA ceasefire broke down and the Peace Process faltered, a local artist put sticking plasters on the figures to heal the wounds.

Eight years on, a glittering, shimmering group of 18ft stainless steel figures appeared on a roundabout just off the main Omagh to Derry road, halfway between Strabane in the north and Lifford in the Republic of Ireland. Harron’s 'Let the Dance Begin' was conceived as an invitation by two dancers and three musicians to a cross-community ceilidh...

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Galliagh sculpture

September 10, 2014

Renowned Derry sculptor Maurice Harron is to create a public art work in Galliagh. Plans for the Galliagh Development Trust project have been unveiled in an application to the Planning Service. According to the plans, the proposed sculpture for Galliagh Road Roundabout – which is near St Joseph’s Church – will measure 5.5 metres high. […]

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Galliagh sculpture

September 10, 2014 . By admin . Leave Comment

Renowned Derry sculptor Maurice Harron is to create a public art work in Galliagh.

Plans for the Galliagh Development Trust project have been unveiled in an application to the Planning Service.

According to the plans, the proposed sculpture for Galliagh Road Roundabout - which is near St Joseph’s Church - will measure 5.5 metres high.

Mr Harron explained that the inspiration for the art work centered around an “idea of a time caspsule”.

He said: “It’ll be about 16 to 18 feet high and involves four children holding a diamond shape which contains hundreds of messages from local children and adults engraved in stainless steel. The Galliagh Development Trust worked with St Brigids, St Therese’s and St Paul’s primary schools as well as two nursery groups, a local women’s group and local residents to make up the messages. So, all in all, a real cross-section of the community was involved in the project.”

Eight years on, a glittering, shimmering group of 18ft stainless steel figures appeared on a roundabout just off the main Omagh to Derry road, halfway between Strabane in the north and Lifford in the Republic of Ireland. Harron’s 'Let the Dance Begin' was conceived as an invitation by two dancers and three musicians to a cross-community ceilidh...

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