This bronze atmospheric bronze is a scaled down version of a much larger sculpture now residing in New York. Commissioned by the Irish Government, the memorial to the Irish Famine, Arrival, (2000) (26 x 24 ft.) was presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and sited on the Plaza at the United Nations headquarters in New York, alongside works by such artists as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Arrival is a variation on the National Memorial, albeit with a more hopeful message; in place of the symbolic skeletal rigging at Murrisk is a more human figuration, as some 150 survivors—huddled on deck—begin to disembark by New York’s East River to start a new life. Behan works within an Irish tradition, but in a modern way; the craftsmanship and love of the expressive qualities of the bronze are paramount.
John Behan (born 1938) is an Irish sculptor from Dublin. He studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and Ealing Art College, London, and Oslo’s Royal Academy School.
He helped establish the Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 1967 and the Dublin Art Foundry. Notable sculptures include Arrival, commissioned by the Irish Government and presented to the United Nations in 2000 and Wings of the World in Shenzhen, China, 1991. He is a member of Aosdána.