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Edward Delaney is an Irish sculptor born in Claremorris in County Mayo in 1930.
Edward Delaney attended the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and, supported by the Arts Council, studied casting in Germany. He represented Ireland at the Biennale de Paris in 1959 and 1961. His best known works include the 1967 statue of Wolfe Tone and famine memorial at the northeastern corner of St Stephen's Green in Dublin and the statue of Thomas Davis in College Green, opposite Trinity College Dublin. These are both examples of lost-wax bronze castings, his main technique during the 1960s and early 1970s.
He has represented Ireland at the Paris Biennale (1959 and 1961) and at the World Fair in New York (1965). He has also shown in New York, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Budapest. At home he has exhibited in the Hendriks, Royal Hibernian Academy, Davis and Solomon Galleries and in the Project Arts Centre amongst others
He has received many awards and scholarships, including a West German fellowship for sculpture (1956-7); Bavarian State Foreign Students Sculpture Prize (1958); Italian Government Scholarship for sculpture (1959-60); and Arts Council of Ireland Sculpture prizes (1962 and 1964).
Though they do exhibit some of his trademark expressionism, the statues of Wolfe Tone and Thomas Davis are less abstract than was most of his work at the time; the famine memorial is more typical in this regard. However, in (Hill 1998) it is pointed out that these statues make no attempt at an exact likeness of the figures they portray, instead, they communicate the public stature of their subjects and, indeed, the public role of memorial statues through their proportions and scale In this way, it is argued, they mark the transition from memorial and public art.
What all Edward Delaney's work shares is robustness, in an Irish Times review of his 2004 retrospective Aidan Dunne described his bronzes as robust, but having an awkwardness, a tenderness about them.
The statue of Wolfe Tone was blown up by loyalist terrorists in 1979. The head survived undamaged and the statue was reconstructed. Since 1980 Edward Delaney has concentrated on large scale environmental pieces and works in Carraroe in the west of Ireland. The Royal Hibernian Academy held a retrospectives of his work in 1992 and again in 2004. He has been collected by the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and is a member of Aosdána.
Works are in many major collections, including: The Central Bank, Dublin; Bank of Ireland; Allied Irish Banks; Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Waterford Museum; Office of Public Works, Dublin; First National Bank of Chicago; First National City Bank of New York; An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Irish Arts Council; KLM Airlines Headquarters, New York; Irish Management Institute, Dublin; Jefferson Smurfit Group Ltd.; Norman B.Arnoff, New York; and the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.
A large body of Edward's work can be seen at the Open Air Sculpture Park in Carraroe Co. Galway.