Irish sculptor, poet and playwright James McKenna studied at the National College of Art and Design. The work of the Italian Renaissance masters influenced McKenna throughout his career. Political events, often married with Celtic mythology, also informed his work. He was a founding member of both the Independent Artists Group and the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland and exhibited with the Irish Exhibitions of Living Art. He was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship for Sculpture in 1960 and became a member of Aosdána in 1983. A major retrospective of his work was held at IMMA in 2007.