Richard Moore's latest art installation - giant 'High Man' Orion/warrior/hero figure grabbing summer solstice sun

Richard Moore's latest art installation - giant 'High Man' Orion/warrior/hero figure grabbing summer solstice sun

Richard Moore’s latest giant art installation will be completed today, on the summer solstice, in a field in front of Newgrange.

These stunning aerial images of the artwork were taken by
Noel Meehan of Copter View Ireland
His new creation is the ‘High Man’, a giant warrior/god/hero holding the sun, based on Irish legends and the fact that in the sky, the huge hero constellation Orion appears to grab the sun on the longest day of the year.

The High Man measures almost 150 metres tall (493 feet) and is situated in such a way that it reflects alignments concerning both winter solstice and summer solstice.

Richard shot to fame on Easter weekend when he created a huge Byzantine image of the face of Jesus in a field in Drogheda, helped by another local artist, Derek McCloskey.

Now the pair have created an even larger image, but this time in the heart of the historic Boyne Valley.

Artist Richard Moore at the site of the art near Newgrange.
It’s based upon a giant warrior figure dubbed the ‘High Man’ which was discovered in the landscape of Louth and Meath by Moore and fellow author and researcher Anthony Murphy. They wrote about it in their book ‘Island of the Setting Sun - In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers’.

The giant heroic figure is located in an area anciently known as Ferrard - from Fer Ard, meaning ‘High Man’. This area stretches right down to the Boyne river, and so Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were all in this ancient region.

Midday on summer solstice - Orion holds the sun.
“The summer solstice is a very significant time in this current era,” Richard explained. “On this day, the sun is located above Orion, in his upraised hand, as if he is holding onto it. This is something that only happens in this modern age. The sun’s solstice positions are slowly regressing through the Zodiac, taking almost 26,000 years to complete one revolution. So when the summer solstice sun’s position gradually moves out of Orion’s hand, as it will do over the next few decades, it will be almost 26,000 years before that happens again.”

Artist Derek McCloskey, who is helping Richard with the
image, demonstrates the pose of the High Man.
Moore and Murphy are convinced that the builders of Newgrange were aware of this 26,000-year movement, known to astronomers today as the ‘Precession of the Equinoxes’.

The pair say that the Stone Age builders were advanced astronomers and were also keen surveys, based largely around their comprehensive astronomical knowledge.

The beauty of the new ‘High Man’ creation is that it is positioned in such a way as to reflect both summer solstice and winter solstice.

A close-up aerial view of part of the new High Man image.
Picture: Noel Meehan,
“It is located on the winter solstice line from Newgrange,” said Richard. “If you could trace a line from the chamber of Newgrange, out through the entrance, towards the rising sun on winter solstice, this line would intersect Mound A, this mound in the field where the High Man is located, and further on it would eventually meet Fourknocks, a small Neolithic mound almost 15 kilometres away.”

In addition to this, the figure itself is aligned to mark summer solstice. It is positioned so that it is pointing towards the place on the horizon where the sun rises on summer solstice. If you could darken the sky and see the stars, you would see the giant warrior constellation Orion appearing to ‘carry’ the sun through the sky. It’s quite remarkable,” said Richard.
Richard Moore at work on the 'High Man' image near Newgrange.
An overview of the High Man image in progress. Picture by Noel Meehan

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