#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 16°C Saturday 8 May 2021
Advertisement

Dublin City Council to invest €600,000 in six new sculptures for parks and public spaces

The announcement was made as the newly elected Lord Mayor Hazel Chu today launched ‘Sculpture Dublin’.

Lord Mayor Hazel Chu and Sculpture Dublin programme director Karen Downey at the launch of the initiative today
Lord Mayor Hazel Chu and Sculpture Dublin programme director Karen Downey at the launch of the initiative today
Image: Naoise Culhane

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL is to invest €600,000 in the commissioning of six new sculptures for parks and public spaces across Dublin in the next 18 months. 

The announcement was made as the newly elected Lord Mayor Hazel Chu today launched ‘Sculpture Dublin‘, a project designed to put sculpture at the heart of communities around the city. 

Following initial consultation and a survey of sites conducted in the last year, locations for the new commissions have been identified in each of the five Dublin City Council Local Administrative Areas:

  • Ballyfermot People’s Park, Ballyfermot
  • Bushy Park, Terenure
  • Kildonan Park, Finglas
  • Smithfield Square Lower
  • St Anne’s Park, Raheny

A temporary sculpture will also be commissioned for the O’Connell Plinth, an empty plinth outside City Hall on Dame Street, which once supported John Hogan’s statue of Daniel O’Connell, now on display in the Rotunda of City Hall.  

The commissions will be awarded before the end of 2020 and realised in 2021. Five of the six commissions are open competitions and artists will be asked to create a sculptural work in response to the specific context of the selected site. 

Two of the commissions are ‘participative’ and will require local involvement in the creation of the work. 

For the site overlooking North Bull Island in St Anne’s Park, a major ‘land art’ work is planned. It will be an invited competition given the specialist nature of the art form.

All of the commissions will benefit from local engagement programmes designed to raise awareness, provoke conversations about sculpture and involve people in discussing how sculpture and public art enhance their neighbourhood. 

“Art is such an important part of Dublin, now and historically, and the art of sculpture in particular has the power to reflect our sense of community and place,” Lord Mayor Hazel Chu said. 

“In the past couple of months, we have witnessed communities all over the world engage in sculpture in a renewed way. Sculpture represents who we are, where we come from, and where we are going,” Chu said. 

“It is important to celebrate sculpture that best reflects the diverse range of voices, cultures and traditions that make Dublin such a beautiful place to call home,” she said.  

Luke Kelly

In recent months, two sculptures of Luke Kelly – unveiled last year to mark the Dubliners singer’s 35th anniversary – have been vandalised on numerous occasions. 

Artist Vera Klute’s marble bust of Kelly on Guild Street on Dublin’s Northside has been vandalised five times in six months. 

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Sculptor John Coll’s Luke Kelly statue on South King Street on Dublin’s Southside was also vandalised with white paint last month.

At the time, Coll told TheJournal.ie that he is not surprised his work was attacked.  

“I was kind of dodging the bullet a bit,” said Coll, considering Klute’s statue has been vandalised five times this year alone. 

Unfortunately this is part and parcel of public sculpture, and you have to think about these things when you’re making them.

“It’s sad. But it might be a product of the time we’re in,” said Coll.

“The greatest security for a piece of sculpture is people [nearby]. South King Street, the last six weeks, has been devoid of people.”

With reporting by Cónal Thomas

Read next:

COMMENTS (86)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel