LADY WITH ATTITUDE – QUEEN MEBH BY PATRICK O’REILLY
I had my Pinterest account suspended permanently because I posted this photograph. Apparently they received a large number of objections from people in the USA.
I photographed this in November 2014 and had hoped to return to Burlington Road in order to get a better photograph. However, Someone told me that this statue has been moved from outside Connaugh House on Burlington Road to some unspecified location in Wicklow. I checked using Google Maps and it would appear that the claim is true.
Medb or Maeve was the queen of Connacht in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. Her husband in the core stories of the cycle is Ailill mac Máta, although she had several husbands before him who were also kings of Connacht. She rules from Cruachan (now Rathcroghan, County Roscommon). She was the enemy (and former wife) of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and is best known for starting the Táin Bó Cúailnge (“The Cattle Raid of Cooley”) to steal Ulster’s prize stud bull Donn Cúailnge.
Medb was strong-willed, ambitious, cunning and promiscuous, and is an archetypal warrior queen. She is believed by some to be a manifestation of the sovereignty goddess. Medb of Connacht is probably identical with Medb Lethderg, the sovereignty goddess of Tara, and may also be linked with the Morrígan. She may be the inspiration for the fairy Queen Mab found in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Patrick O’Reilly (b. 1957 Kilkenny, Ireland) is a highly acclaimed Irish artist who studied at the Belfast school of Art. He has since achieved international fame for his innovative and dynamic visual works, having exhibited throughout Ireland & Internationally for over two decades. His work is included in many international museums and important private collections and in 1996 he had a solo exhibition in the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin. His has also won many awards including the RHA sculpture prize.
O’Reilly’s works are not only philosophical expressions of thoughts and experiences but also reflect his feelings, emotions, and personality. Monumental large-scale public commissions have allowed his sculptures to become much loved parts of the local landscape particularly in Ireland, with prominent sculptures standing outside the 3 Arena, Adare Manor, Burlington Road & Sandycove, Dublin. However, his work can be found all over the world including, a Strolling Bear in Paris and a bear wearing a tutu in Cape Town (Castle of Goodhope, 2004).
O’Reilly is represented by many major galleries including the Mayor Gallery, London, Gallery Vallois in Paris and Friedman Gallery on Maddison Avenue, New York. In addition, he has exhibited at prestigious international art fairs including Tefaf in Maastricht, At Basel & Art Miami. O’Reilly now lives and works between studios in Dublin, Venice, Madrid and the Auvergne.