Sheela-na-Gig aka Jeanne Rathbone

Family in Residence Sculpture by Ivan Murray

Posted in A FAMILY IN RESIDENCE, Ivan Murray Sculptor by sheelanagigcomedienne on June 14, 2012

We went along to the unveiling of this delightful sculpture by Ivan Murray in a new apartment development called Neo Bankside which is directly behind Tate Modern. It is set in a simply planted cottage garden of grasses, horizontal foliage and lines of silver birch which continues those of Tate Modern.

Ivan is from Galway. His grandparents Peg and Martin established The Salthill Hotel on the prom and Michael and Detta, Ivan’s parents, took it over. My sister Ida’s wedding was the first to be held there in 1965.  The hotel used to be Daddy’s local till a few months before he died. Aengus, our son got to know the Murray boys, when he lived in Galway and that is why we were attending this unveiling.

The bronze sculpture is a charming family entitled A FAMILY IN RESIDENCE. Ivan cites Hepworth, Moore, Brancusi, Kapoor etc as sculptors he likes and who must have inspired him. Ivan explains how the site of the four pavilions and the triangular shape of the base as well as the family groups picnicking in the Tate gardens came together as his inspiration. The laid back Dad reclining and the Mum with an affectionate hand on his leg, with the two children sitting on them, and their blissful expressions make it an endearing art work.  He even suggested that the family could be expanded if he was commissioned to extend it with a few more children gazing out of varoius apartments!

This is quite a coup for a young artist to have a sculpting so close to Tate Modern the home of contemporary art. It was Lord Mervyn and Lady Jeanne Davies, who came across Ivan’s work in Wales where he lives, that recommended him to the developers ‘Native Land’. Talent and chance coming together- serendipity.

Ivan Murray

This is an initial sketch.

The brochure.

His twin brother Alan is also an artist and has set up artists studios in Cregg Castle which was near our cottage in Tonnegurrane. A further coincidence is that my niece Eimear lives in the lodge of Cregg.

Artists wanted to transform 17th century Castle in Co. Galway into an Arts Venue.


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