A NEW trail of contemporary public artworks is set to transform Cork city centre, the City Council has announced.
Funded by Fáilte Ireland, the scheme is intended to enhance the city centre by providing an experience that is “arresting, intriguing, and playful while illuminating the city’s unique heritage”.
Island City, Cork’s Urban Sculpture Trail, will see the installation of five artworks over a period from June to December at sites across the city centre island.
The temporary artworks will remain on site for five years, creating a series of experiences, enhancing Cork’s appeal as a destination.
Cork’s National Sculpture Factory has been engaged by the City Council to support the project, including the commissioning of the artworks. Four of the five sculptures were commissioned in 2022.
Urban Mirror by Berlin-based Plattenbaustudio will take the coloured facades of the Coal Quay as its starting point and reinterpret Cornmarket Street as a room without a roof containing a free-form table, held in place by an oversized ‘pin’ with a coloured globe of light at its top.
On Carey’s Lane, contemporary Irish artist Niamh McCann will create a suspended, lane-length sculptural piece that will take its form from the architecture and topography along the lane.
Fiona Mulholland will populate the façade of the Exchange Building on Princes Street with large-scale sculptural reliefs. The Face Cup is based on a collection of exceptional Bronze Age ceramic artefacts dating to about 1800 BC, that were excavated in Cork.
Forerunner intend a present-day rupture within the cityscape on Cook Street with Boom Nouveau, a series of sculptures based on everyday urban street features.
The art was selected by an expert panel including artist Eva Rothschild, Dr Linzi Stauvers, Natalie Weadick of the Irish Architecture Foundation, and representatives from Fáilte Ireland and Cork City Council. An open competition to commission the fifth and final artwork in the trail, a lighting projection, will be announced in the coming months.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Deirdre Forde said: “This project highlights the value that Cork City places on the arts in our public realm. We look forward to welcoming visitors to experience this unique sculpture trail and showing Cork at its best.”
Green Party Cllr Dan Boyle said public art can really lift the spirit. “The content of the art can be a trigger for finding out more about yourself, your community, and your history.”