In 2006, I found myself wandering the streets of Dublin, slack-jawed and amazed that I was in a place that perhaps had been walked a thousand times before by ancestors from my very own “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.” It was our first day in Dublin, in fact, and we were pretty much giddy and groggy from the long flight and virtual lack of sleep, and just ambling about without much of a point or purpose at all. That’s when I stumbled upon this lovely fellow:
He was located in a center island on O’Connell Street, not too far from the “Stiffy on the Liffey.” A nearby placard explained that he was part of a series of sculptures that had been commissioned for the Millennium celebration (the same celebration, we were later told by a tour guide, that had brought about the, er, erection of previously mentioned stiffy).
Of course, being a true member of my particular family, I happily photographed this rather pensive rock-dwelling rabbit. We are renowned for our propensity to photograph anything non-sentient or non-human, so a bronze bunny? Double win. Then we were once again on our way and I pretty much forgot all about this sculpture.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered this during a perambulation through the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden a few weeks ago:
Needless to say, this was an unparalleled delight to discover that my hippity-hoppity friend had somehow found his way across several years and several thousand miles to appear right in my own backyard. I also learned a bit more about the Thinker on a Rock, thanks to a little handout available at the garden entrance. I was a bit surprised to see that he was originally created back in 1997 since I was still under the impression that he had something to do with the millennium. Although, three years isn’t all that much time in the grand scheme of things, and perhaps he had merely been brought to the streets of Dublin because someone enjoyed Barry Flanagan’s artistry in general rather than having been actually commissioned specifically by Dublin for the purpose of this celebration.
Who knows? All I know is that, in the midst of what was already an extraordinarily enjoyable day of wandering through museums and the Mall, my happiness meter pinged off the scales when I found the Thinker.