Photographer's Note

Pictured here is the sculpture known as Paddy Ganesh, or to give it its proper name, Oileann Pipes Ganesh. It is one of the Irish Ganesh statues which feature in Victorias Way Indian Sculpture Garden in the town of Roundwood, County Wicklow.

The sculpture is a wonderful mixture of two very distant cultures, taking the image of the Indian God Ganesh and putting a distinctly Irish touch to it.

Carved from black marble, the elephant god features a traditional Irish cap bedecked with a shamrock, plays the Oileann pipes (a traditional Irish instrument) and wearing a sash featuring a typical Celtic design brooch. It is one of nine statues of Ganesh that feature in the garden, seven of which are either playing instruments or dancing. Other instrument playing carvings include Tabla Ganesh, Veena Ganesh and Flute Ganesh.

The Victoria’s Way collection of black granite Ganesh (Vinayaka) sculptures is considered to be the finest anywhere in the world, including India. It took about 9 years to design, model and carve the whole group. The sculptures range in size from 5ft 6ins to 9ft and weigh between 2 and 5 tonnes each.

The Ganesh statues are only a part of the sculpture garden which also features the forest sculptures which represent the way to liberation achieved by Buddha. The path through the forest represents the stage on the journey to the realization of ones true self.

In the order you find the statues scattered throughout the forest, the individual who responds naturally and spontaneously to the world and who lives an authentic life, completes the journey easily, achieves fulfillment and is rewarded with joy. However, the cultured or over-regulated individual, the one who has lost the capacity to act and respond spontaneously, encounters many obstacles, consequently fails to attain and becomes distressed.

Among the forest sculptures are Bodhi, Dukkha, Muni, Nirvana, Paranirvana and more.

This is a beautiful and unadvertised place in the foothills of the Wicklow mountains, and a place which matches together two ancient cultures which seem at first glance to be of utterly different worlds. The statues are carved with amazing detail, and placed in a soft (and often damp) typically Irish landscape. A place well worth visiting if ever in Ireland.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4173 W: 26 N: 9238] (33764)
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