The hare embodies the wild and the free. We imbue it with something about ourselves – something wild, free and untameable . That is us as Irish, but also wider. The hare is both compellingly attractive and illusive, only ever spotted at a distance.
This makes it all the more attractive to make as a sculpture. This little fellow is made in stoneware and fired twice reaching 1220C degrees. He is fairly much life sized – at 40cm tall.
We have a distinct breed of hare in Ireland – browner than the European hare. Maybe that adds to our liking for hares. How it happened was that hares came here from Europe when the ice sheets covered the seas. Then when the ice melted (maybe I should say ‘the last time the ice melted’) the hares that were in Ireland were separated from the rest of the family. With the thousands of years they evolved to the brown Irish hare. In more recent times the European hare came to Ireland, and is present especially in the North.
I have sometimes seen hares in the Wicklow hills, or Kerry mountains. Surprisingly, Dublin Airport now provides a sanctuary for the hare under pressure from farm practices and urban sprawl.