Noel Hoare biography

Noel Hoare graduated from the National College of Art, Dublin in 1965, with an honours Diploma in sculpture. During his time in the National College of Art he won the Taylor Scholarship for sculpture and the Dept. of Education’s silver medal for first place in the Drawing from Life – Advanced Exam. After graduating Noel proceeded to qualify as an Art teacher, whilst beginning to build a reputation in the Dublin art scene in the early seventies.


In 1972 he was elected a member of the Independent Artist Group. He exhibited annually in their group shows throughout the seventies and eighties. During this period Noel also had a number of one man shows in Dublin. In the mid seventies he was elected to the committee of the Independent Artists along with other well-known Irish sculptors such as James McKenna and Cliondhna Cussen. As a committee they formed a sculptors’ group and pioneered the first sculpture symposiums in Ireland. These symposiums laid the ground for the establishment of the Sculptors Society of Ireland in 1980, of which Noel was a founder member. He also played a part in the life of the Project Arts Centre. In the seventies he was a member of its’ board and was involved in its’ move to Essex St.


Noel Hoare has completed a number of public commissions ; the Beaumont Hospital Sculpture, the Sunflower Pins on the M50 motorway, the Grange Road East sculpture, Thomond Gate Sculpture Limerick, G.A.A.Sculpture Batterstown, Co. Meath, two pieces at Dublin Airport and another at the Royal Hospital Donnybrook. The most prestigious of these being Beaumont Hospital Sculpture commission. The impressive granite abstract, now outside the entrance to the hospital, stands at 3 metres high. It is between twelve and fifteen tons in weight and took two years to complete. He has worked for a range of clients throughout his long career and his works are in numerous church and private collections in Ireland.

Noel Hoare has represented Ireland abroad. He was selected from a number of Irish sculptors to take part in an international stone symposium in Italy, during September 1994. His work was well received there and he brought back two prizes; the Popular Jury prize and he came second in the overall symposium.


Not many Irish Artists can boast of winning public commissions for one of the largest and for one of the smallest artworks in the Irish state. Noel Hoare can! He took part in and won the Central Bank’s latest competition to design their commemorative coin – The Brian Ború: Battle of Clontarf 1014-2014, €20 Gold Proof, limited edition coin. At the launch on the 30th of April 2014, in the National Museum, Kiladre St., Dublin,  Noel  contrasted his struggle with carving the largest known (3metres by 3metres) piece of solid Granite for the Beaumont Hospital campus in the early 1980’s, with designing a coin only 11 millimetres in diameter. It is testament to his skill as an artist that his orignal design, carved in white limestone, translated so well to the small coin. It has been a popular coin with collectors at home and abroad. Nearly all of the 12,000 coins minted have been sold.


As a student in National College of Art he was particularly interested in wood carving and carving in limestone. Later, he met a local stonecutter who was kind enough to show him the basic skills of granite carving. Granite is a medium that tests the physical, mental and spiritual qualities of the artist. Old stones from demolished buildings were the main source of his carving material, these came broken, as cubes, or as rectangular blocks. The historical age of limestone is 230 million years and granite in its earliest form is the dust of the Cosmos. Time is the central theme of Noel Hoare’s sculpture. His female figures suggest the continuation of life. The boat full with human figures represents life’s journey and the human head, his ancestors. In his abstract work intertwining knots and other Celtic symbols such as the double spiral are common. Atoms, black holes, spiral galaxies, and the concept of multi- verses preoccupy him. These are recurring themes in his work and reflect his interest in Space and Time. As a man growing up in the late 20th century in Ireland and now in the first decade of the 21st century his sculptures reveal a deep interest in human life and its place in time. The past, the present and the future all have a fascination for him. The basic theme of his work is an exploration of the following; Where do we come from? What are we doing here, and where are we going?