Longa Faoi Sheol
Medium: Stainless Steel (316L stainless steel)
Dimensions: 260 x 305cm wide. Each right angled triangle measures 148 x 298cm
Location: Lios Dubh, Dundalk, Co.Louth
About his early life, the artist tells us:
I believe that my artistic life began as a youngster. My father was a hydro-geologist who travelled the world, my mother was a writer and weaver, so as kids in foreign lands in the 50’s and 60’s we often had to be very resourceful. We were always making our own toys and building forts and digging caves, exploring the natural environment and creating things, rather than relying on store-bought toys, which were not always available. On these overseas assignments we also lived near and played upon such environmental constructions as Machu Pichu, Jerash, Petra, Baalbek, Chartres and the like. When we returned from a tour overseas, Dad would build a house for us so I would help him, so I learned working with tools and construction on a large scale as a youth. I believe that these amazing adventures around the world are still today very influential in my life and art. I believe also that these ancient monuments inspired in me a desire to create my own works of creativity that would also last for millennia and speak to people down through time and that these multi-national experiences instilled in me an understanding of the universality of humanity at an early age and today contributes to these qualities in my creative works. Today I have dozens of large-scale sculptures in public environments in twenty four different countries around the world.
As a student, I studied at the Arts College in Urbana, OH, which led me to transfer to the Dayton Art Institute where I began studying sculpture and the other arts. After leaving DAI, I joined my folks in Senegal, where Dad gave me a job in the bush so that I could earn enough money to then travel to attend the Stuttgart State Art Academy where I created quite a number of sculptures. This lasted until I had a serious motor cycle accident and had to return to the States.
I then worked with with Chuck Ginnever at his farm/studio outside Putney, Vermont, where I assisted him with his sculpture for a year—we met at DAI. He knew Paul Brach and Allan Kaprow who were starting up California Institute of the Arts out at Burbank, CA in 1970, so I travelled out there to work on my degrees: BFA – 1971 and MFA – 1972.
Two years in LA were quite enough, so I went to work at a gold mine in northern California, outside Magalia/Paradise/Chico, which lasted for two years. By the end of the two years I decided that I was indeed meant to be working on sculpture instead, so I joined my folks in New Mexico for a time and began creating works that I was later to build as commissions throughout the States and overseas and did some university teaching. My first professional commission was in 1976 and the first % for art project was for Miami DADE in 1979. I base my “professional” career upon these dates.