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Maurice MacDonagh is one of the most prominent of the young generation of Irish sculptors. A native of Dublin, he studied sculpture at the National College of Art and Design where he recently completed his MA degree. His work has been included in a number of exhibitions and in 1992 he represented Ireland at the ExpoExhibition in Seville, Spain. This work, 'Axis', was previously exhibited at the 1993 Oireachtas art exhibition in Dublin where it was awarded one of the most prestigious prizes. In concept and use of imagery - a crescent moon and a star - it illustrates MacDonagh's interest in symbolism and recalls the distinguished poet W B Yeats, for whom similar images were closely linked to ideas of Irishness and identity. MacDonagh's deliberate use of rusty materials, which lend to the piece connotations of ageing and renewal, can be seen as a metaphor of hope in the contemporary world.