The Axe (and the waving girl)

Artist: Alice MaherAlice 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, TU Dublin

Dates of loan: 2015 – 2021

Per Cent for Art: Yes



IMG_6445  the_axe_and_the_waving_girl   IMG_6462

IMG_6473   IMG_6447   IMG_6458



The Axe (and the waving girl) takes on the subject of the fairy tale, a subject Maher returns to again and again. The young female figure is waving to an axe, which is leaning precariously against a tree. Distance and closeness, and the contrast in scale, unsettle and disrupt the natural balance, as much as the apparent menace.

This work is on loan from the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) to TU Dublin as part of Pathway 6: Lending & Acquisitions of ‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art.




    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.