The Hug by Marie Smith


June 2021 - As we all look forward to life outside of lockdown, I would like to take this time to reflect on the past few months. In March this year, Philip Bromwell from RTÉ News made a film about “The Hug” as part of “Hugs on Hold” – A Year of Pandemic Living which garnered a huge response and artworks have been sent all over Ireland and worldwide. But this is not where the story began… This post is to give you an insight into the making of "The Hug", my process and impact it has had.

In 2020, Cootehill Arts Festival, determined to not let the pandemic spoil their planning, contacted eight Cavan artists and asked us to respond in one word to the question, “what does lockdown mean to you?” My reply was “CONTACT” and so began my thoughts and studies of the sculpture “The Hug”

My figurative sculptures start with a model, but where does one go to find people embracing when we are not allowed to touch?


As an expat myself for many years, I know first hand that there’s nothing more special than the Arrivals Gate for that very emotional hug. So my research started with the closing scenes from Love Actually!

Watch it here ...



07 Jul 2021


Related News

Drama Techniques in Youth Work Settings

Drama Techniques in Youth Work Settings

Published on: 27 September 2021

The Golden Fleece Award 2022

The Golden Fleece Award 2022

Published on: 07 September 2021

NIYF Survey

NIYF Survey

Published on: 13 August 2021