The Axe (and the waving girl)

Artist: Alice Maher   Alice Maher_with_Axe@GG
Medium: Outdoor Installation
Collection: Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA)
Location at Grangegorman: Top of Cultural Garden, Grangegorman west
Website/Social Media:;
Commission Type: On Loan from IMMA
Commissioner: Grangegorman Development Agency, DIT
Dates of loan: 2015 – 2017
Per Cent for Art: Yes



IMG_6445  the_axe_and_the_waving_girl   IMG_6462

IMG_6473   IMG_6447   IMG_6458



On loan from the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) as part of Pathway 6: Lending & Acquisitions of the Grangegorman Public Art programme. A joint project with St Paul’s CBS aka “The Brunner”.


The Axe (and the waving girl) is about fairy-tale and folklore. It has origins in the Ladybird Books and the story of Little Red Riding Hood. It plays with the relationship of scale – monumental and miniscule. It teaches children how to deal with fear/life. If is about male/female. Child/parent. The axe is the tool of the good woodsman. It saves the child. It is also threatening and scary. The narrative is however open to interpretation by all. It is a meeting point.

The work was made in CAST foundry in Dublin 8. It is unpatented. The artist has used car paint. It is unique. It is installed into the ground with a deep foundation. The piece is 60cm × 270cm × 10cm bronze painted.



    Alice Maher is a contemporary Irish artist who works in a wide range of media, often from outside the tradition of fine art and more from the natural and domestic world, such as hair, nettles, bees, thorns. More recently she returns to her roots in drawing and videos of her drawings. She has been adventurous in her explorations of themes of childhood and death, such as Mnemosyne, 2003, wherein she creates a bedlike structure constructed from refrigerator coils; when the coils become frosty they gleam a brilliant, luminous white sheen. She is interested in how identities, particularly gendered identities, are constructed from the peculiar texture history and culture give to artefacts that surround us.