Located on 22 acres south of Dublin, Ireland in County Wicklow,  Victor’s Way Indian Sculpture Park includes sculptures of Ganesh, Shiva and The Buddha among many others.  The Garden was the vision of a German-born Irishman Victor Langheld who had spent years in religious orders in India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Langfeld personally designed most of the black granite Statues that were hand-crafted in India. While many of the statues are of legendary figures in the Indian and Buddhist traditions, several of the sculptures have created controversy for their violent or erotic imagery leading to Langheld voluntarily closing the park in 2015. 

Langfeld had always maintained the park was created for mature adults who were interested in the art for its contemplative value. Langfeld also correctly asserted that many artistic works in Hinduism could be considered erotic but maintained the work was created for its creative and aesthetic value and not for prurient reasons. In 2016, the Park reopened with a higher admission fee (5 Euros) and an age restriction. 

I personally don’t consider his art pornographic or even erotic. But please judge for yourself.  I actually enjoy the work especially the Dancing Ganeshes,  (or is it Ganeshi?)

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The entrance to the park is via a sculpture that is a Vagina Dentata called “Victoria’s Gate”. It was the artist’s attempt to create a birth canal to new insight and understanding. Langfeld stated he wanted the sculptures to evoke transformative thinking.

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View from exiting  the “Birth canal.”

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Buddhist Busts near the car park.

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The starving Buddha. According to Buddhist tradition, Siddhartha Gautama who would later become the Buddha explored several paths to enlightenment including that of aestheticism and deprivation, before coming upon “the middle way.”  Fasting and extreme denial of any physical sensations are still practiced in some Buddhist and Hindu sects.

 

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The Buddha after finding ‘the middle way” and enlightenment.

 

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One of the most controversial works, this sculpture is designed to evoke the struggle of a child and mother to separate. The claws on the left hand and the left leg becoming a serpent are meant to show the natural instinct not to separate. The face of the mother is that of agony as she desperately clings to her child. Unless there is complete separation both the mother and child will be unhealthy and spiritually die. (This explanation comes from a plaque that is located near the statue and is the artist interpretation. )

 

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This sculpture called “The Split Man” was also a source of consternation, but I entirely seem to understand it. According to the artist,  the statue is symbolic of how we can be torn apart and split by polarities, the Yin vs. Yang. Also, being torn apart by indecisiveness.  Like the mother/child statue the theme is making the painful separation that is necessary for growth.

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Birth, rebirth, and creativity is a common theme in Langsfeld’s work.  This work is symbolic of the struggle to self-define.

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The Ferryman. Trying to escape the bog of our doldrums and ordinary cares.

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The Buddha

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Shiva Dancing
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Shiva in contemplation
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Buddhist stupas

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The Cobra throne. In Egyptian and Hindu mythologies, the cobra was the seat of feminine power.

One of the favorite sections of the park is the dancing Ganesh statues.  Accompanied by a band of  Ganesh musicians, two Ganesh dance to the music. One of the most popular deities in the Hindu pantheon Ganesh is the mover of obstacles, a font of joy, and the bringer of prosperity.

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Craic is Irish slang for “having a good time.”

 

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The Irish Ganesh is wearing an Irish cap with a shamrock and playing bagpipes.

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Each player in the Ganesh band was created with great attention to detail.

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The gift shop
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The Park is dedicated to Alan Turing the father of the modern computer

Victors Way is south of Dublin Ireland in County Wicklow. The whole area is worth a couple days exploration with a popular National Park and several interesting castles. The park is only open during the Spring and Summer.  Admission is 5 Euros (about 7 US Dollars)

 

11 Replies to “From New Delhi to Dublin”

    1. It would have been nice to mention the names and location of the artist sculptors who carved the statues (Mamallapuram ?)

  1. Wow, Ireland has always been at the top of my countries to visit, and this is the first time I’m hearing about such a park. It’s amazing how different cultures come together and co-exist to offer us a deeper understanding of the world we live in. New to the blogging bandwagon, but absolutely loved this post and I’m looking forward to more posts from you!

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