Bandfield artwork marks The Mardyke's 300th anniversary 

Bandfield artwork marks The Mardyke's 300th anniversary 
The Bandfield Project. Pic: Kevin O'Brien.

2019 marks the 300th anniversary of the construction of the public recreation area of the Mardyke in Cork. 

To mark this moment in the city’s history, the Glucksman invited artist Deirdre Breen to create a large scale artwork at the site of the original bandstand in front of the UCC Ceremonial Gates on Western Road.

Bandfield is presented on the façade of the ESB substation, one of many such modernist structures built between 1948-1951, and which is also used as a bicycle shelter. 

The Butter Exchange Band performing at the official launch of the Bandfield Project. Pic: Kevin O'Brien
The Butter Exchange Band performing at the official launch of the Bandfield Project. Pic: Kevin O'Brien

The small building is directly adjacent to the place where the original Mardyke bandstand was located in the 18th century.

Director of the Glucksman, Fiona Kearney said: “Artist Deirdre Breen has transformed this overlooked bike shelter into a vibrant artwork for Cork and it is a wonderful way to celebrate the important role the Mardyke has had in the public life of the city. We are very grateful to Cork City Council for funding the project and enabling the Glucksman to work with local community groups as part of the development of the design”.

As part of the design process, the artist worked with the Glucksman and local musical groups to identify musical patterns and shifts in the way we experience music in public spaces. The final artwork transforms an overlooked public structure into a colourful artwork and along with a free programme of music events, celebrates the Mardyke’s long history as a civic space and venue for outdoor performances.

Artist Deirdre Breen at her Bandfield project on the Western Road. Pic: Kevin O'Brien
Artist Deirdre Breen at her Bandfield project on the Western Road. Pic: Kevin O'Brien

Liam Casey, Cork City Council said: "The development of the Mardyke commenced in 1719 when a committee of the Corporation approved the construction of an embankment through a number of isolated marshlands westwards from Fenn’s Quay. The Corporation named it Mardyke after a similar promenade in Amsterdam called Meer Dyke meaning a sea-dyke or embankment.

During the past 300 years, The Mardyke has been one of the City’s main amenity and recreation areas offering a wide range of both active and passive recreation facilities which includes Fitzgerald’s Park, City Museum, Cork County Cricket Club, Sunday’s Well Boating and Tennis Club and, Mardyke Arena.


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