John Behan RHA
The Famine ship is hugely significant in sculptor John Behan’s work; indeed it forms the basis of Irish National Famine Memorial at Murrisk Co. Mayo (1997). However, in ansome ways his new ‘migrant’ work has more contemporary significance. It is more roundly and directly realised – it is not retrospective – it has presence and urgency.
On his many journeys to Greece and Cyprus the artist has encountered refugees as they flee Africa and the Middle-East. This couldn’t but have come into the expression of this sensitive and receptive artist – and on his very next trip Behan intends to embark with the Irish Navy as they go about their Mediterranean rescue mission – reflected in his new body of work in the shape of his ‘Migrants’ show.