Max Tannahill is from Bangor, Co.Down, in the north of Ireland, where he was brought up on a small farm, which he left in the mid 1970's to set off for London. After a time he travelled to Australia where exposure to the work of aboriginal artists left a deep impression.


Max returned to England in 1989 to study bookbinding for two years and it was during this period, living in the Essex coastal village of Wivenhoe, that he started carving his unique fish from the plentiful supply of driftwood gleaned from the shoreline and estuaries nearby.

The pieces vary enormously in size from small individual flat fish to 4 metre long installations of shoals of fish swimming alongside boat remnants which are hung from chains. Lead and copper are sometimes incorporated into the fish he creates. His world is essentially simple; imagined, and governed to a large extent by the constraints of the material.

Max recently exhibited alongside Guy Taplin and Grayson Perry in a show called 'Essex Artists Old and New' at the Geedon Gallery. He has had numerous one man shows in Suffolk, Bath, Stroud, Cornwall and at Imperial College, London. He was selected to represent Essex Artists at a symposium in Kleinbreitenbach in Germany, a few years ago, where he made a ½ tonne weather vane whale which was installed as a permanent fixture above the village.