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Work of the Week | 17 October 2022

CAG.452 John Burke, Blue Maquette, c.1977, steel, painted, 80 x 17 x 65 cm. Purchased, 1977 (Gibson Bequest Fund & Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon). © the artist’s estate.

Did you know that our WORK OF THE WEEK feature has been running for four years!?

Every few weeks over the coming months, we will focus on a work from the collection that has been selected by artist Corban Walker for inclusion in his new exhibition, AS FAR AS I CAN SEE.

Blue Maquette (c.1977) by John Burke is a bird-like abstract form made in painted steel. Purchased in 1977 through the Arts Council Joint Purchase scheme, it anticipates his hard-edged and large-scale public works, Red Cardinal (1978) on Dublin’s Baggot Street and the ‘Cork 800’ sculpture (1984) at the Wilton Roundabout.

Walker reflects that Burke ‘wasn’t a stranger’ to his family home at St. Mary's Lane, Ballsbridge. He remembers that his father, architect Robin Walker, ‘was a strong advocate of Burke’s large-scale sculpture. We had a few of his maquettes in the house and garden.’

A native of Clonmel, John Burke (1946-2006) studied and later taught at the, then, Crawford School of Art on Emmet Place. He also studied under Anthony Caro and Bryan Kneale at the Royal College of Art, becoming a pioneering, influential sculptor in his own right. Among his own students were a generation of distinguished artists, including Vivienne Roche, Eilis O’Connell, Jim Buckley, and Maud Cotter. He was a founding member of Aosdána.

Blue Maquette (c.1977) by John Burke is featured in CORBAN WALKER: As Far As I Can See until 15 January.

Open daily | Free entry

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week’s chat here:


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