“By the Way“ by Ann Lane features more than 1000 works of art along the roads and in the villages of Ireland

Dick Joynt: “Ram“, granite. At 30 tons it is one of the largest works of its kind in the country. It reflects one of the cornerstones of the agri-economy of the area.

They are big and small, those that tell a funny story or those that also tell of great misfortune

A deep hospitality speaks from a quote by Ann Lane: “The information would be of special interest to visitors from abroad, who might not know the significance of a specific piece in relation to the history or legend of where it is sited.“ Ann Lane has published her 2nd book on works of art along the roads in Ireland – an almost unbelievable work of diligence, for which she has crisscrossed a good 35,000 km across the island and meticulously collected the background to the works along the way.

Only a few works of art in cities are included. For they are often at least provided with a plaque with the name of the work and the artist.

The majority of the 1050 works in the book are found in villages or by the wayside.

They are those things on a trip where the visitor, driving by, might think for a moment that he should have stopped and looked.

“Clocha na hÉireann / The stones of Ireland“. Each county is represented by a stone carved by a sculptor who is a native of that county.

Many of the works are made of stone, many are also made of metal. They are large and small, those that tell a funny story or those that also tell of great misfortune.

Explicitly, the large-format book with 400 pages wants to familiarize the reader with the island and its inhabitants. In the preface Michael D. Higgins writes: “For those fortunate enough to live and travel in Ireland it can provide a new perspective on our native landscape and our journeys through it. For those who have never come to our country I trust that it will arouse curiosity and interest.“
Higgins is the President of the Irish Republic.

Wait – the President of the Republic wrote the foreword?

Left: Ruairi Dennison: “Candle“, limestone. Featuring a tree of life motif, sun, moon, stars, and a centre panel from the Book of Durrow surrounded by a design of never-ending interlacing knotwork. Right: Imogen Stuart: “St. Kevin and the Blackbird“, granite. The saint who is reputed to have had a special bond with wildlife.Fred Conlon: “Caiseal dÓir“, Kilkenny limestone. Inspired by the prehistoric structures and artefacts of the region. Symbolises the gold gorget from the ‘Great Clare Find’, a hoard of Celtic gold artefacts from 700BC discovered in 1854.

For that, you have to know Ann Lane’s resume: She was a personal assistant to Mary Robinson, a lawyer and university professor, and later the first female President of the Republic. She then worked as a personal assistant to 3 state attorneys general, and then for a state senator.

During her decades of professional life, she not only got to know Ireland in great detail – she also traveled all over the globe. From the scant personal information she provided, she probably got to know more than just the airports and exclusive hotels.

Vincent Brown and Padraig Smith: “Sail“, granite with gold ceramic tiling.

Now that she is retired, she had time in 2017 to get on the road again with her camera and travel gear.

When we asked her to pick out a few pictures for our report on the book, she sent us more than 20, all of them as requested for works in stone, with captions and descriptions.

Ann Lane, „By the Way“, Worldwell Books, ISBN: 978-1-9164922-8-8

Martha Quinn: “Newgate, Rivergate“. Two limestone arches and a mini plaza.Jane Mortimer: “Loss“.Richie Healy: “Braille Alphabet“, limestone.Seamus Dunbar and Niall Walsh: “Roscrea Arch“. Sandstone and limestone arch incorporating carved figurative animal and human heads.Séighean Ó Draoi: “An Bradán Feasa / The Salmon of Knowledge“, limestone.AJ Victor Segoffin: “Mother Ireland“. White marble figure of Ireland mourning her sons killed in battle.Cover of the book.Ann Lane.

(26.04.2021 USA: 04.26.2021)