Friday 31 October 2014

'High Man' warrior makes its mark on ancient site

Elaine Keogh

Published 23/06/2014 | 02:30

A new work of art has been added to the landscape of the Boyne Valley
Drogheda based artists Richard Moore (right) and Derek McCluskey
Drogheda-based artists Richard Moore (left) and Derek McCluskey working on the installation
Drogheda-based artists Richard Moore (left) and Derek McCluskey working on the installation

A NEW work of art has been added to the landscape of the Boyne Valley and is visible from the air.

The 150 metre tall and 90 metre wide installation is of the warrior-like 'High Man', and is the work of Drogheda-based artists Richard Moore and Derek McCluskey.

It is in a field lying just below the Newgrange monument and resembles the hunter or warrior pose of the constellation Orion.

However, 'High Man' is using his hands to record the line of summer solstice rising sun, which happened on Saturday, and to mark the winter solstice when the rising sun illuminates the burial chamber inside Newgrange.

"One arm is holding the sun which is in the line of the summer solstice sunrise while his other arm is holding a shield which is in line with the winter solstice sunrise," said Richard who has been painting and creating works of art inspired by the Boyne Valley for more than 25 years.

Drawing

With fellow artist Derek McCluskey he used lines of sight, twine and a grid system to mark the outline of the 'High Man' and then on Saturday, the longest day of the year, they used lime to complete the drawing of the figure in white lines against the rich green of the field.

The 'High Man' was first identified by Richard in 1999 after he looked at a map of the Boyne Valley and thought the network of roads between archaeological and historical sites in the area looked like the outline of Orion or other mythical figures.

Author and researcher Anthony Murphy christened him the 'High Man' because the roads are in what was called the barony of Ferrard.

It can be broken into the Irish words Fear Ard or High Man.

The legs of the 'High Man' are in the River Boyne at Slane and Drogheda, Ardee is at his head, Collon is on his waist, and Dunleer is at his right hand.

"Whether that big figure is a man-made creation or not we cannot say," said Anthony.

"It could be just be a remarkable coincidence that there is a giant warrior godlike figure in the landscape in an area called 'High Man' and in an area most strongly associated with gods and heroes.

"If you look at mythology, everything that is of most significance to Irish history is contained in this region, for instance the Hill of Tara, the seat of the 'High King', we have Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth and County Louth is named after Lu, a Sun god, an Orion-like god of ancient Ireland."

Real-time aerial views of the art, which is in a field owned by the David Redhouse of Newgrange Farm, were provided by Noel Meehan of CopterView Ireland and allowed the artists to see their art in progress and to look at it the way our ancestors looked at the landscape they lived in.

The 'High Man' at Newgrange will be visible for as long as the dry weather remains.

Irish Independent

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