Ursula Klinger
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When I received the commission from the Omeath branch of Conradh na Gaeilge
for a life size bronze bust of Eoin MacNeill in March of 2016, I firstly set
out to learn as much as possible about the man himself and his role in 1916
and following years. Eamonn O Gribin, their chairperson, added his own
personal research to my studies, which had discovered the more private side
of my subject's personality. In the National Library in Dublin I acquired a few
high resolution digitalised photographs, which I could enlarge to the
required size for perfect proportions of the face. I was looking to merge
the sensitivity of the scholar, that Eoin MacNeill was primarily, with the
vision of the politician and express both in my sculpture. I also wanted a
look transcending a specific age, so he would be recognizable at any time of
his long life. The work progressed though the stages of the maquette to the
life size bust in clay, before being entrusted to the Bronze Art foundry in
Dublin, from where with great care and numerous consultations the finished
bust finally emerged at the beginning of September. This long and involved
process was facilitated through funding by the Louth Co. Council's Centenary
Programme.
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