Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Henry Malone 

BA [Hons] Art

Henry Malone is artist who draws inspiration from his home and upbringing in Cooley, Co. Louth. He is particularly interested in the relationship between myth, borders and religion, and the connection between narrative and place, as it is formed during childhood. He uses a wide range of media to explore the changing cultural signifiers being overlaid on the environment and his previous work deals with material and visual changes in the Northern-Irish Border during the rise of Brexit. He has exhibited in IADT student shows such as High Heart at Pallas Projects/Studios (2021).

Project Description

Henry’s current project is a site-responsive sculptural exploration of his own relationship with myth and religion. He has chosen to focus on the mountainous site of Barnavave in Cooley, Co. Louth (known locally as Maeve’s gap). This place appears in the myth of the Táin Bó Cúailnge and in recent years it has become a place of worship for the local Catholic community. Members of this community frequently hold ceremonies at Barnavave, sometimes at sunrise, often gathering at a wooden cross they have installed at the site. Henry’s work is a response to this place and these activities, and this response is given a material form through clay and stone pieces. Granite is engraved with words and patterns, before being returned. The goal of this work is to document the journey when questioning your own faith and beliefs.

The Border as a source of Myth and Art Subject Matter for Contemporary Art

Henry's thesis is a study of the impact of Celtic mythology on contemporary art practice. Focusing on the Ulster Cycle with particular reference to the Border region. Celtic mythology plays a large role in Irish culture. Irish legends become almost part of how we view our early understanding of Irish culture, it being full of magical telling's of giants, witches and more. They feed into our imagination as youths only to be discarded in later life as little more than stories. By examining one whole unabridged version of the myth, it allows us to follow the stories as a historical piece that holds key concepts that are still present when dealing with the border.