Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ardee Sculpture

After Nobber and its O'Carolan sculpture I had to go to Ardee, Co Louth. The same sculptor, Ann Meldon Hugh, has a public sculpture in Ardee. This one is entitled Cuchulain Carrying the Slain Ferdia. Ardee is near where the famous fight at the ford took place between Cuchulain and Ferdia who had been his friend. This is a highlight of the Táin Bó Cúalnge, The Cattle-Raid of Cooley, the central epic of the Ulster cycle. Ciaran Carson published a translation in 2007.

This sculpture makes an impressive statement as the hero strides towards the viewer with his dead friend in his arms and a look of horror on his face. Far from the heroic portrayal of Cuchulain elsewhere. In the light of the proximity of Northern Ireland it must also be seen as a comment on war between friends and neighbours.

The positioning of the sculpture does not do it justice. It is situated at a small car park in the town and can easily be missed. You need to drive into the car park to see it properly.

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