Elemental - Joseph Hillier (1)

Elemental – Joseph Hillier

Case Study:
Elemental by Joseph Hillier

Title of Exhibition
Elemental by Joseph Hillier


October 2021


Claregalway Educate Together NS

  1. Scope of Work

Maurice Ward Art Handling were first contacted in September 2021 by the commissioners, the Educate Together School in Claregalway (CETNS) via a phone call and later by the artist, Joseph Hillier, regarding the transport and installation of a public artwork. The sculptural work titled “Elemental” was to be transported from Joseph’s studio in Great Britain to County Galway, Ireland. Nine (9) months into the official instauration of Brexit, we were keen on assisting both the school and the artist with customs procedures, transport and installation for this unique commission.

Over the course of several weeks leading up to the transport and installation in late October 2021, we liaised with the artist in understanding the details of the artwork (dimensions, materials, weights etc) as well as how and where it was to be installed in the school. Parallel to these communications, we advised all parties involved on the necessary documentation and paperwork needed to proceed with customs of a permanent artwork being imported into Ireland from Great Britain. Prior to collection of the artwork, the Maurice Ward team were processing customs procedures through our UK and Irish offices. This sharing of information from our clients and the preparation of documents by our staff ensured smooth sailing through each port, for this dedicated road transport.

The unloading of the sculptures into Claregalway was timed with the arrival of the artist travelling by plane for the install at the Educate Together School. One of our contract art handlers in the West, Aidan Kelleher, was onsite to assist with the install of “Elemental” with Joseph’s direction.

“Delighted with our sculptures “Elemental” and the time frame involved in getting them to our school in Claregalway. Initially I was concerned there might be shipping difficulties especially after Brexit. However, everything went so smoothly. I appreciated being briefed at every stage of the project and thrilled to find Joseph and Aidan, from Maurice Ward Art Handling, on site installing ahead of time as the pieces had been delivered so early. A very efficient service”.

Terri Claffey Principal of Claregalway Educate Together


  1. Description of the Collection / Exhibition

Funded by the Department of Education, specifically for the new Educate Together School in Claregalway (CETNS), “Elemental” was commissioned under the Per Cent for Art scheme. The selection of Joseph Hillier’s submission came after a national and international two-stage open call. Coordinated by Rina Whyte, Project Manager for the commission and CETNS, the selection panel included members of the school community and two artists.

Rina, Joseph, the school and their community then worked together via a consultative process. “Elemental” took shape through research and the exploration of forms and materials. As Joseph Hillier recounts: “The piece I made for this wonderful school was a dwelling on what it is to belong to a place, to grow in a place. The site is called locally ‘Droim na Gaoithe’ meaning ridge of the wind, this notion sparked an inquiry in how I could relate a figure to the local landscape. I initially made the form of a child very smooth and polished in plaster. When I subsequently carved the furrows, or grooves, into the skin of the piece, I was thinking of many things; the contours of a map, the furrow of a plough in the earth, the patterns found in the growth of plants, the flow of a river, the invisible movement of air and the isobars of weather patterns. I wanted to make a piece which made the image of a child part of the landscape. I hope these pieces settle in, to become part of many children’s internal landscapes as well as in this unique place, the town of Claregalway.”

Please have a look at Joseph Hillier’s artworks and projects here (hyperlink to website: or follow on Instagram (

And learn more about how “Elemental” is influencing the CETNS community here (hyperlink to website:


  1. Testimonial

 “Working with the team at Maurice Ward was the easiest way to bring my work Elemental to ETNS School in Claregalway, from the UK, post Brexit. The team were very experienced at dealing with customs and handling art. The whole process of the import was smooth and the team courteous and very efficient. Many thanks for helping us through this commission and installation so quickly and professionally, Aidan was a pleasure to work with on site.”

Joseph Hillier, Artist.



@hillier.joseph (

For Rina Whyte – Social Media


Facebook: Rina Whyte

Elemental - Joseph Hillier (2)

Elemental – Joseph Hillier

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