Commissions are the most resolute encounters that an artist makes to market himself and what he produces. The artist plays the central role occupying the position to accept or refuse the commission in the first place. The superior role is reversed once the work is complete since the artist has to have completed the commission specifications. The commission represents the state of the world and the bonds that bind us.
Despite the facts most artists still take commission work, an artist can make money without having to sacrifice to "the Man". A commission could be any art, like the pieces that found their way on to the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square London or a simple portrait. singer George Micheal commissioned a portrait from artist Micheal Craig-Martin. Most artists are chosen for one reason, their work. Who ever is making the commission likes what he thinks the artist will make for the comission. There is no better way to make the criteria for a commission than to be ideal choice for the invisioned work.
Maurice Harron is acclaimed for the comissioned works he has made for institutions and private individuals througout Ireland. He has sculpted busts (portrait, head and shoulders) of irish writers that include Seamus Heaney, James Joyce and Brian Friel. Maurice has also sculpted historical and legendary figures, ordinary people are the models chosen to represent our ancestors, he has assembled playing children and particular family types to symbolise aspects of community life. Maurice has been asked consider scoundrels, warriors, saints and sinners as well as those who make the stories of recent past or the ground of history.
The commissions that Maurice takes on are from a huge variety of sources. A well known Donegal hotel wanted to commission a sculpture that would be the centre piece for the entrance to the hotel. The entrance has been dramatically improved by the sculpture. The commissioned sculpture 'The Lovers' welcomes newly married couples and guests in spectacular fashion. The hotel has gained a dimension that will add to the wedding receptions that happen at the hotel in the future plus the sculpture has given the hotel an aura of a special and happy place stay. The effect of the sculpture on business at the hotel has been tremendous and 'The Lovers' is now signature piece that encompasses the identity of the hotel.
All commissions are different, it is important that each sculpture is individual. In the process of completing a commission Maurice engages very closely with the client to come to an understanding of how they see themselves especially in the context of this new artwork they are in the process of creating. Maurice must also gain their confidence to be able re-contextualise the reasons why they want a particular work. He must be sure that the sculpture he will make embodies all the reasons why the work is commissioned, Maurice must insure the sculpture is what the client wants. Maurice Harron wants a work that presents the of qualities the client wants to espouse and would like to express about themselves and by association represent who they are.
The close collaboration of commissioners with the artist frame the process of all commissions including works for institutions and local government. The course of the collaboration does not always end happily and commissioners can wake up with something unexpected on their streets or fronting the newest public amenity. The artist on the other hand can be left with a cancelled commission after months of preparation without any or little recourse.