Artist: Shaun Dolan

*1969, Ireland
2004: Present Artist in Residence, Chelsea Children’s Hospital School and Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital
2002-2005: Curator, Northcote Gallery, London
1996-2002: Head of Exhibition and Education at Academia Italiana, London (formerly European Academy for the Arts)
Education Consultant to Aspley House (Victoria & Albert Museum)
Exhibition Manager, British Council Pavilion (Venice Biennale 2001)
Several art installations in London.


The Buddy-Bear for Ireland is represented as a “Leprechaun” taken from an Irish legend. Leprechauns are aloof elves who live in Ireland on their own, spending their time making shoes. They possess hidden pots of gold and are extremely honest. The saying goes that it means luck to see a leprechaun and if caught, the leprechaun will reveal the whereabouts of his treasure. However, if the captor’s eyes leave the leprechaun (and often he tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost.

Decorating the leprechaun’s clothes are two major symbols of Ireland: the Celtic cross depicting a country steeped in history and the Shamrock symbolising trinity. The colour green is connected with hope and nature.

My aim was to produce a humorous Buddy Bear, which would evoke the warmth and friendliness of the Irish people.

Shaun Dolan

Sponsor: Wall AG