CATALOG ITEM 32 SCULPTURE IN CONTEXT 2023
An Poc or the Puck, a version of this, is available from Saatchi Art for Euro 16,200 but the one shown in my photographs is available at Euro 14,000. Nigel is a British artist living in West Cork, Ireland. Self taught in a multitude of disciplines, Nigel Connell Bass is well known for his sculpture work in new and recycled metals, predominantly life-size depictions of birds and animals. He worked for 10 years, as a scenic artist for a busy Theatre production company, before moving with a young family to Ireland in 1996.
Bringing up a young family after the move to Ireland, and completing a self-build house, meant that for a few years, art took a backseat role as he worked mainly painting, decorating and sign-writing to make a regular living wage. In 2015 Nigel returned to art full-time. He is enjoying success regularly exhibiting his sculpture work at prestigious venues throughout Ireland and continues to explore new concepts in sculpture and also painting in acrylics onto rusted metal sheets.
As one of the leading characters in William Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puck boasts of his pranks of changing shapes, misleading travelers at night, spoiling milk, frightening young girls, and tripping venerable old dames. The Irish pooka, or púca, and the Welsh pwcca are similar household spirits.
Puck is a mischievous fairy character from Irish folklore who is often associated with goats. He is typically depicted as a young man with goat-like features, such as horns, hooves, and a tail. Puck is often seen as a trickster or prankster, and he is known for playing tricks on humans and fairies alike.
In one well-known story, Puck is said to have stolen a goat from a farmer. He then disguised himself as the goat and hid in the farmer’s herd. The farmer was unable to tell which one of his goats was Puck, and he ended up selling all of them.
In another story, Puck is said to have helped a young man named Cormac to win the hand of his beloved, Grainne. Cormac was too poor to afford to marry Grainne, but Puck gave him a magic cloak that made him invisible. Cormac was then able to kidnap Grainne and marry her without her father’s permission.
Puck is a complex and ambiguous character in Irish folklore. He can be seen as both a mischievous prankster and a benevolent helper. His association with goats is likely due to the fact that goats were seen as sacred animals in pre-Christian Ireland.