Inaugural sculpture installation between the Glucksman and the National Sculpture Factory aims to create artistic experience for audiences in Cork city and online around the country —
Over 100 kiln-fired ceramics, artistic aprons at the English Market and light projections highlighting the lack of affordable accommodation for young people are just three installations of five set to take over Cork city in September. Announced today (31.08.2021), GRAFT is the first collaboration of its kind between the Glucksman Gallery and the National Sculpture Factory. GRAFT will feature five unique pieces of art at key locations throughout Cork city and aims to create a novel artistic experience for audiences in the city.
Five individual artists based in Ireland have been commissioned to create a temporary installation each. They will be unveiled on the 17th September, as part of Culture Night, and will be in place until 31st October.
The artists selected are Linda Quinlan, Bríd Murphy, Adam Gibney, Seodín O’Sullivan and Vanessa Donos López. All were invited to take part in the exhibition by the curatorial team who evaluated each artist’s practice on the basis that it could be imaginatively adapted to the temporary public space.
Valerie Byrne, Director of the National Sculpture Factory, said “The partnership brings together the expertise of the Glucksman and the National Sculpture Factory. It is a timely focus on presenting contemporary art outdoors and brings to the fore creative possibilities for Irish artists in the public realm, while creating new opportunities to connect with audiences.
“Covid-19 has forced us to re-evaluate how we use our built environment and public spaces. A lot of the spaces in our towns and cities have been wonderfully repurposed for commercial reasons, but it is important that our public spaces are accessible to everyone. With GRAFT, we can now see how these can be reimagined in a similar way but for the benefit of everyone. The exhibition is a blueprint for our villages, towns and cities to encourage public interaction with our public spaces and to reinvigorate the built environment.”
Creative site-specific artworks
Each artist is working on a site-specific sculpture to be produced and presented in consultation with the two organisations:
- Linda Quinlan, a native of Cork city, aims to capture the living spirit of the city’s renowned English Market by creating a series of paintings depicting foodstuffs that will be presented on customised aprons worn by market traders.
- Seoidín O’Sullivan, originally from Zambia and an Art Lecturer in NCAD, is producing a series of ‘swing-like’ sculptural works for the city centre park, Bishop Lucey Park. These objects will use copper-plated text to draw a connection between Cork, Zambia, copper mining, Afrofuturism, space exploration and her own family background.
- Bríd Murphy, a Dublin-based visual artist, will highlight the lack of suitable, affordable accommodation for young people by creating a series of new films which will be projected from inside the former Liam Ruiséal bookshop out on to Oliver Plunkett street.
- Artist and Research Masters student Adam Gibney has created a network of solar-powered loudspeakers which will be arranged throughout Cork city and that together will convey a phrase that will steer audiences across multiple audible points from one speaker to the next.
- In Wandesford Quay along the banks of the River Lee, Spanish-born Vanessa Donoso López will exhibit over 100 kiln-fired ceramics embedded with intricate designs and patterns. The ceramics will be clustered on embankments and outcroppings of land. Over the course of GRAFT these will also be submerged but still visible.
Fiona Kearney, Founding Director of the Glucksman commented, “Alongside the exhibition, we will be presenting a public programme of events and education activities. This, and the fact that it can be enjoyed safely whether in the city or online, makes the exhibition extremely accessible to everyone in society, from school students on a walk with their teacher, to art enthusiasts who have been aching for live cultural experiences for the last eighteen months.
“Our overall aim with GRAFT is that the exhibition raises questions, generates discussion and invites conversations about the ways in which art can encourage reflection and initiate dialogue about public space.
“GRAFT means that everyone has the opportunity to explore the role of sculpture in the public realm and to witness the capacity of artworks to ignite civic discussion and the ways in which cities themselves are creative and cultural spaces.”
Further programme details and access information can be obtained from the Glucksman www.glucksman.org/exhibitions/graft and the National Sculpture Factory www.nationalsculpturefactory.com and a dedicated exhibition website www.graftcork.ie will launch on 11 September.