Sculpture

Sculpture

Andrew Carpenter General Editor
Paula Murphy Editor
Máire Byrne Volume Assistant
Máire Byrne
Rita Larkin
Volume: III
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: 1
Published by: Royal Irish Academy
Pages: 584
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt14jxtx2
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  • Book Info
    Sculpture
    Book Description:

    Art and Architecture of Ireland is an authoritative and fully illustrated survey encompassing the period from the early Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century. This complete five volume set explores all aspects of Irish art – from high crosses to installation art, from illuminated manuscripts to Georgian houses and Modernist churches, from tapestries and sculptures to oil paintings, photographs and video art. This monumental project provides new insights into every facet of the strength, depth and variety of Ireland’s artistic and architectural heritage.

    eISBN: 978-1-908996-64-0
    Subjects: Art & Art History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-v)
  2. FOREWORD
    (pp. vi-vi)
    James Slevin

    As theArt and Architecture of Ireland(AAI) reaches publication, the Royal Irish Academy wishes to acknowledge those who brought the idea of this major project to the Academy and to express its gratitude and appreciation to the funders who made such an ambitious undertaking possible.

    In the spring of 2007, two art historians from University College Dublin, Nicola Figgis and Paula Murphy, asked the Academy to consider supporting a project to update Walter Strickland’s celebratedA Dictionary of Irish Artists(1913). I, as president, turned to one of the Academy’s members, Carmel Naughton, for advice and direction. We organized...

  3. GENERAL EDITORʹS PREFACE
    (pp. vii-x)
    Andrew Carpenter
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xiii)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. xiv-xv)
    Paula Murphy
  6. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xvi-xvii)
  7. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xviii-xix)
  8. CHRONOLOGY
    (pp. xx-xxiii)
  9. [Illustration]
    (pp. xiv-xv)
  10. EDITORʹS PREFACE
    (pp. xxvi-xxvii)
  11. 1 INTRODUCTION: IRISH SCULPTURE SINCE 1600
    (pp. 1-20)
    Paula Murphy

    The term sculpture has traditionally suggested a figurative object made in a lasting material (marble or bronze) in three-dimensional or relief format. John Henry Foley’s (qv) monument toDaniel O’Connell[2] in the centre of Dublin is a typical example, with its many bronze figures in the round and in relief. If this was the norm in sculpture for centuries, in Ireland and elsewhere, the tradition was not sustained into the twenty-first century. By the late 1900s, with new developments in the art form, it had become less easy to ascertain what was a piece of sculpture. As Declan McGonagle...

  12. 2 SCULPTORS AT WORK
    (pp. 21-22)
  13. 3 BIOGRAPHIES
  14. 4 SCULPTORS AT WORK
    (pp. 371-372)
  15. 5 THEMATIC ESSAYS
    • ARCHITECTURAL SCULPTURE
      (pp. 373-378)

      Buildings have traditionally drawn attention to themselves through sculptural decoration. Sculpture can give intricacy to the outline of a building, definition to the rhythm of openings; it can articulate base, string course or cornice; figures give focus and meaning. The net effect is enhanced status. Sculpture is therefore a candidate for the buildings of established institutions or for private, public and commercial buildings that jostle for notice or are making a bid for respectability. In comparison to many other European cities, the architecture of Dublin is relatively austere. The exteriors of Irish country houses are also notably plain. It is...

    • ARCHITECTURE (IRISH GEORGIAN) AND SCULPTURE
      (pp. 378-382)

      The ‘urinal’ in the drawing-room – some critical perspectives on sculptural aspects and ornamental contexts in Irish Georgian architecture.

      Context: It all started with Marcel Duchamp’sFountain(1917) and we have been catching up ever since. Not only did that reclining urinal, autographed and offered up as ‘art’, revolutionize the very concept of sculpture, it encapsulated many of the historical tensions between sculpture and architecture. Furthermore, as a footnote to its significance, it helped refine our appreciation of the sculptural aspects of Ireland’s Georgian architectural heritage.

      In the allusive admixture of form and concept that Duchamp captured in hisFountain,...

    • ARTS AND CRAFTS SCULPTURE
      (pp. 382-385)

      The Arts and Crafts Society of Ireland (ACSI) was founded in Dublin in 1894, six years after its English namesake, the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society (ACES), held its first exhibition in London. The progressive ideals championed by English Arts and Crafts architects, designers and artist-craftsmen in England mirrored the Utopian socialist writings and example of John Ruskin and William Morris and were emulated by the founders of the Irish society. The term ‘Arts and Crafts’ adopted in 1887 suggested the collaborative ideal of the combined arts, where the choice and use of materials were seen as integral to individual...

    • CELTIC CROSS
      (pp. 385-388)

      A product of the nineteenth-century Celtic Revival, these distinctive ringed crosses were inspired by early medieval high crosses (seeAAIi). They became known as ‘Celtic’ crosses in the nineteenth century because this form of medieval monument occurs predominantly in places with enduring elements of Celtic culture: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man. While the cross was to become a cultural symbol for all these areas, it is most readily associated with Ireland and Irishness.

      The medieval monuments on which the Celtic crosses are based have a distinctive form – Latin cross with ringed head, capstone...

    • CELTIC REVIVAL SCULPTURE
      (pp. 388-393)

      In the aftermath of the early death of Fenian poet John Keegan Casey (1846–70), a cross was erected to his memory in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin [355]. Commissioned by the Monuments’ Committee of the Young Ireland Society, it was carved in the local stoneyard of Thomas H. Dennany (R.J. O’Duffy,Historic Graves in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin 1915, p. 39). The mason sculpture firm established a successful practice in the carving of Celtic Crosses (qv), among which the Keegan Casey memorial, replete with national symbols, could well have served as the perfect advertisement for Dennany’s Celtic Revival work. The rock-like base,...

    • CERAMIC SCULPTURE
      (pp. 393-396)

      Abstract and figurative, smooth and angular, beautiful and ugly, refined and distorted, colourful and monochrome, humorous and violent – the forms of ceramic sculpture are immensely varied, while always requiring perfection of craft. Ceramic confuses art writers, who often consign the use of it as pottery or porcelain to design and the making of functional objects or to decorative work. Ceramic work can be used both to confirm and to rebut the perceived distinction between art and craft. The labelling of the artist, which is often controversial (see Anthony O’Brien letter toIT, 12 January 1993), becomes a significant factor....

    • CHURCH MONUMENTS
      (pp. 397-401)

      Since the term ‘church monument’ covers a number of different sorts of memorial, it may be desirable at the outset to establish what the most common varieties are. Most, though not all, may be found in Ireland. The commonest are those raised by family members to deceased relatives. However, since descendants could not always be relied on to do the right thing, some monuments were raised, particularly in the seventeenth century, by living persons to themselves or to their dependants during their own lifetime. A frequent occurrence in the eighteenth century was the ‘end-of-line monument’, raised as an expression of...

    • CHURCHYARD AND CEMETERY SCULPTURE
      (pp. 401-406)

      Information on Irish graveyard and churchyard sculpture has tended to be localized. Ada Longfield’s pioneering work in the field in the 1940s and 1950s concentrated mainly on counties Wicklow and Wexford, although significant gravestone art was noted by her in other areas. Her research uncovered a sophisticated folk art in the south-east, in particular the work of Dennis Cullen of Monaseed, who experimented with figure sculpture in elaborate crucifixion scenes. Further insight into the quality and extent of Cullen’s work was published by Eoin Grogan (‘Eighteenth century headstones and the stone mason tradition in County Wicklow: the work of Dennis...

    • CLASSICISMS
      (pp. 406-409)

      When John Henry Foley’s (qv)Youth at a Stream[112] was shown in London in 1844 at an exhibition of works to help select artists to decorate the New Palace of Westminster, it was greeted with the words ‘had such a figure been dug up in Rome, or near Naples, somewhat mutilated, it would have been pronounced a valuable specimen of classic Art’ (Art Union, 1844, 216). Leaving aside the qualification of the mutilation, which would make it look like a classical fragment if found in either location, and leaving aside also the dubious poetic lines attached which, when the...

    • COINS AND COINAGE
      (pp. 409-411)

      The signing of the Treaty of Mellifont in 1603 brought to an end a most violent and unsettled period in Irish history. In that year the accession of the Stuarts to the throne of England ushered in a new era in the story of Irish coins and coinage. The reign of Elizabeth I had ended with the issue of copper and base silver coins in 1601/02, and one of the first actions of James I in Ireland was to replace this emergency coinage with better quality silver shillings and sixpences. Produced in London rather than Dublin, these were smaller and...

    • COLLECTING SCULPTURE: PRIVATE
      (pp. 412-416)

      Commenting on the poor treatment of Irish artists in the eighteenth century, it was suggested that Irish noblemen had ‘splendid collections of the works of foreign painters, libraries of foreign books, and mansions ornamented with Italian stucco work’ (Dublin University Review, 1886, 297). This appears to suggest that sculpture did not form part of the collections in these mansions and was incorporated only as decoration. While this was clearly incorrect, it is nonetheless evident that large-scale sculpture was and remains more problematic as a collector’s item than painting. Cost (in addition to payment for the sculptor, the expense of the...

    • COLLECTING SCULPTURE: PUBLIC
      (pp. 416-420)

      InArt and Ulster1, published in 1977, John Hewitt famously remarked that ‘of sculpture there was little to tell’. He was discussing Northern Ireland and his starting date was 1557, thus absolving himself from dealing, for example, with the White Island statues of the Iron Age Celts. However the comment points to a larger truth: with the exception of what we would nowadays call Public Art, be it carved high crosses, sculpture in churches, cathedrals, or memorials of one kind or another, there was relatively little sculpture produced by Irish artists in Ireland until the nineteenth century and even...

    • COMMUNITY ARTS
      (pp. 420-424)

      We are surrounded by images and representations that are not our own, and these symbols of what can be called the cultural landscape are never arbitrary. If we read the language of culture through art, we shall learn the history of our people and places and, more, create the awareness and the possibility to change the future of cultural development for the better. German artist Joseph Beuys (1921–86), recognized as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, understood the power of culture and art in society. He had a profound influence on practitioners of community arts (along...

    • COMPETITION
      (pp. 424-429)

      The Sculptors’ Society of Ireland (qv) in itsCode of Practice for the Purchasing/Commissioning of Art for Public Placesactively promoted open competition in instances where a sculptor had to be chosen (SSI Newsletter, September 1992, 5). If competition seems particularly associated with the commissioning of public art (qv), the nature of the exhibition process is also often competitive. In the case of group exhibitions – notably the larger among them, such as the long-running RHA and the more contemporary EV+A (now eva International) – artists submit work for selection, a jury or curator chooses the work for display, and,...

    • DESTRUCTION AND LOSS
      (pp. 429-432)

      A tour of inspection of Dublin statues in 1913, published in theIrish Times(29 April), drew attention to the presence of many ‘admirable statues’ in the city’s midst, as well as recognizing that some of them were ‘far from admirable’. Among the public statues discussed, more than a third are no longer in place. On the subject of theMonument to Queen Victoria(1908) in Kildare Street, the writer pointed out that public opinion at the time of writing was not ‘so favourable as the praises uttered on the occasion of the unveiling’, just five years earlier. As the...

    • ECCLESIASTICAL SCULPTURE
      (pp. 432-438)

      A canopy for the purpose of displaying the blessed sacrament, designed by Irish architect and architectural historian William Scott, is the sole image used to illustrate a chapter ‘On Sculpture in Catholic Ireland’ in Robert Elliott’s book on religious art (1906). This suggests the need to define what ecclesiastical sculpture comprises and who were the practitioners: altars and pulpits; statuary and crucifixes; communion rails and tabernacles; architectural sculpture (qv) and tomb monuments (see ‘Church Monuments’), stations of the cross and ‘canopies’; designed/made by architects, sculptors, stone carvers, metal workers. Altar vessels – more decorative art than fine art – are...

    • EDUCATION OF SCULPTORS
      (pp. 438-441)

      There were always links between fine art sculpture and artisan carving. It was out of the artisan workshops, often controlled by a particular family, that figure sculptors emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The technical training of sculptors, who were predominantly carvers in wood and stone, arose from workshop experience, rather than from schools. The emergence of formal instruction in sculpture in the Renaissance tradition came with the Drawing Schools of the Dublin Society (DS). In 1750 the Society paid John van Nost (qv), an English immigrant sculptor, to instruct John Cawley for seven years, the length of a...

    • ÉIRE/HIBERNIA
      (pp. 441-443)

      At theExhibition of Works of Irish Sculpture, held at the Dublin Society in 1847,The Nation– a recently established weekly newspaper that concerned itself with cultural matters – lamented the absence of ‘a single work connected in idea, style, or feeling, directly or indirectly, with Ireland’. It noted particularly the omission of John Hogan’s (qv) ‘lovely figure of “Erin” in marble’, which had been carved not long since for Lord Cloncurry and which ‘would have been at least one national design’ (Nation, 30 October 1847). Commenting subsequently onErin with Brian Boru(plaster, 1855, CAG), by the same...

    • EXHIBITIONS
      (pp. 443-448)

      Dedicated exhibitions of sculpture were relatively infrequent in Ireland, in comparison with those of painting, and group exhibitions of art also favoured 2D work up until the late twentieth century. A constant refrain in reviews of Irish exhibitions has drawn attention to the paucity of sculpture: ‘no…sculpture at all’ (RHA, 1865); ‘rather weak…in…quantity’ (RHA, 1894); ‘surprisingly little sculpture’ (IELA, 1955); ‘sculpture section is slender (Oireachtas, 1976); ‘very little sculpture’ (Exhibition of Visual Art, Limerick, 1979) (DB, 1 April 1865;IT, 7 May 1894; 18 August 1855; 25 June 1976; 27 September 1979). The disparity was particularly evident at the RHA,...

    • FAMINE MEMORIAL SCULPTURE
      (pp. 448-453)

      The mid-1990s marked the 150th anniversary of the Irish Famine (An Gorta Mór), commemorated extensively in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and communities in the Irish diaspora. Before this modern anniversary, only a handful of early Famine monuments or memorials had been constructed, most notably the monumental granite cross erected on the former quarantine island of Grosse Île, Quebec, in 1909. However the mid-1990s witnessed a burst of commemorative activity, resulting in the construction worldwide of more than eighty monuments to the Famine. Awareness of the Famine’s impending 150th anniversary had been growing since the mid-1980s; many local historical groups began quietly...

    • FOREIGN SCULPTORS AND THEIR WORK IN IRELAND
      (pp. 453-460)

      English sculptor Reg Butler (1913–81) and American sculptor George Rickey (1907–2002) conducted a week-long Independent Artists Sculpture Seminar at the studio of Michael Warren (qv) in Gorey, Co. Wexford, in August 1981. The purpose of the seminar was, according to Leo Higgins (qv), to expose people (presumably sculptors) ‘to personal contact with a level of international sculpture they haven’t been able to experience in Ireland’ (S Ind, 9 August 1981). Ciaran Carty, reporting on the event in theSunday Independent, believed it might assume the significance of the first IELA or Rosc exhibition, which was an indication of...

    • GARDEN SCULPTURE
      (pp. 460-465)

      Ireland is a fortunate country in that its landscape has a sculptural and a human scale. The country’s physical geography, with its long and intricate coastline, its many rivers and its coastal mountain ranges, ensured that those gardening in Ireland could find sculptural possibilities in the landscape itself. Thus, many of Ireland’s great designed landscapes respond to a figure in the landscape, the clear profile of a mountain (such as at Powerscourt), the curve of a riverbend at Leixlip or the steep shaft of a cliff-face at Dromana House, Co. Waterford. Such landscapes are impossible to describe without reference to...

    • GREAT EXHIBITIONS: SCULPTURE
      (pp. 466-470)

      Great Exhibitions are also known as Universal Expositions and World’s Fairs. The list of awards made by the jurors to Irish exhibitors at theGreat Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, held at the Crystal Palace in London’s Hyde Park in 1851, as published inThe Nation, failed to include the names of the four Irish sculptors who achieved success there (1 November 1851). John Henry Foley, Patrick MacDowell, John Lawlor and John Hogan (qqv) were all in receipt of prize medals at the exhibition and contemporary critical comment went so far as to suggest that Foley...

    • INSTALLATION ART
      (pp. 470-473)

      Irish art audiences have become accustomed to installation, with large-scale exhibitions, such as Dublin Contemporary 2011, exemplifying an established interest and acceptance of this art form. However, in the 1970s, 1980s and even into the 1990s it was considered in turn questionable, radical and unsettling with its hybrid nature and use of non-art materials often provoking controversy. Installation Art resists definition but might be broadly understood as the creation of a temporary environment in any medium, which seeks to engage with and demands investment from the viewer. In Ireland, Installation Art of the 1980/90s was distinctively political and reflected ‘The...

    • INSTITUTE OF THE SCULPTORS OF IRELAND
      (pp. 473-474)

      The apparent neglect of sculpture in Ireland in the mid-twentieth century encouraged a group of practitioners to form themselves into a co-operative society in 1952 at the instigation of one among their number, Peter Grant (qv). The absence of significant commissions for public work and the poor quality of what was already in place, the unsatisfactory display of sculpture at art exhibitions and the absence of interest in the art form generally were all concerns for practising sculptors. ‘Apathy, indifference or sheer bad taste’ were thought to have prevailed for too long (IT, 27 December 1959). The need to establish...

    • IRISH-AMERICAN SCULPTORS
      (pp. 475-477)

      Renowned American sculptor Hiram Powers (1805–73) was credited with more than Irish ancestry when, in 1851 on the occasion of the Great Exhibition, he was described as a ‘clever Irish sculptor’, who had become a naturalized American (Illustrated Exhibitor, 1851, p. 290). In fact, born and raised in America, Powers’s Irish connections dated far back to Walter Power, who had emigrated to the New World from County Waterford in 1654. American-born sculptors, one or both of whose parents were Irish, such as William R. O’Donovan (1844–1920), John S. Conway (1851–1925), John J. Boyle (1852–1917), James E....

    • LEITRIM SCULPTURE CENTRE
      (pp. 477-478)

      The decentralization from Dublin of resources for artists was an important factor in the foundation of the Leitrim Sculpture Centre (LSC). One of its founder members, Jackie McKenna (qv), was concerned, in the mid-1990s, to enable artists to discover that they could survive outside of the capital city (Sligo Weekender, 20 June 2006). Located in Manorhamilton, in the north of the county, LSC grew in 1997 out of LAST (Leitrim Artists, Sculptors and Technicians). Its proximity to the former border with the six counties has informed much of the centre’s programming.

      Described by Jim McDaid, then Minister for Tourism, Sport...

    • LETTERING AND INSCRIPTIONS
      (pp. 478-481)

      If words are the vehicles of thought, writing, and its more formal representation in lettering, perpetuates them and prevents them from vanishing into space and time. The individual letter, though used casually in our everyday life, is the highest means of expression available to the human mind and is the currency in which our civilization is recorded. Originally, in the pre-alphabetical age, writing was an esoteric art of the exclusive few; the more complicated the symbols used, the greater the admiration for the writing and the writer. Consider the sensibilities prevalent in China, where writing is still regarded as an...

    • NATIONAL SCULPTURE FACTORY
      (pp. 481-483)

      The core service of the National Sculpture Factory (NSF), when it opened in 1991, was to provide ‘a subsidised, safe, fully equipped facility for the use of sculptors’ and to promote ‘the purchase and commissioning of art’ (Norton, 20). The factory is located in a vast Victorian redbrick building, known, when it was used to house trams, as the Power House, in Albert Road, Cork. The size of the space and its natural light running the length of the building were distinct advantages [445]. Metal, wood and stone working equipment, including sophisticated kilns and extraction systems, were installed, along with...

    • NATIONALIST MEMORIAL SCULPTURE
      (pp. 483-485)

      Governments and political movements have employed the public monument for centuries to mobilize and strengthen public support for their causes. Above all, it offers a tangible form of expression of national identity because monuments transmit political and cultural ideas. Many figures commemorated in Irish cities in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries symbolized imperialist and unionist ideals. However, in the latter half of the twentieth century statues of nationalist heroes were raised and a new pantheon created, in opposition to that celebrating British monarchs and generals. In an era of political flux, these monuments provided tangible indicators of the transformation...

    • NUDE
      (pp. 486-488)
    • PAINTER/SCULPTORS
      (pp. 489-491)

      Historically, artists have been divided into those who worked in two or three dimensions: sculptors tended to sculpt and painters to paint. Today, many of the divisions between media and genre have been elided and contemporary artists are not restricted to one particular art form. Yet most artists are still known primarily as sculptors or painters and many feel more comfortable with one or other form of expression. It is therefore interesting to consider what happens when a painter introduces sculpture into his or her practice. This essay will consider the sculptural works of a selection of Irish painters and...

    • PERFORMANCE ART
      (pp. 492-495)

      The term ‘performance art’ first appeared at the beginning of the 1970s to describe time-based, process-oriented work created by representatives of conceptual or ‘body’ art infused with the new philosophical theories emerging at that time. The majority of the artists who were creating performance art in the second half of the twentieth century had been trained in sculpture or painting in some of the most influential art schools. Their artistic rebellion resulted from the growing belief that sculpture and painting were static arts, feeding into the market-oriented art of the new capitalism. They sought instead a fluid art based on...

    • PORTRAIT SCULPTURE
      (pp. 495-501)

      The sculpted portrait in Ireland is, in European terms, a comparatively late arrival, a fact that in no way diminishes its historical significance. This applies to the period before 1917, whether it is considered within the integral context of British sculpture as a whole, or as a phenomenon in its own right. Gravitating between the extreme subservience of the assistant carver in the employ of a London-based master (Sebastian Gahagan and James Heffernan (qqv)) and the respected status implied by honorary membership of the RHA, won largely through the immortalization in artistic form of Irish worthies (Christopher Moore (qv)), Irish...

    • PUBLIC SCULPTURE
      (pp. 501-507)

      Irish public sculpture began to distinguish itself from British traditions when nationalist subjects were first celebrated in the mid-nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth and for much of the twentieth century, cultural nationalism would provide the subjects, symbols and ritual functions for Irish public sculpture, which would make it distinctive, and represent its contribution to a European phenomenon. As with all public sculpture, location is intrinsic to its impact and character. Conversely, public sculpture has had a decisive role in the definition of public spaces in Ireland. This dialogue with the public realm necessarily encompasses the uniqueness of Irish public...

    • SAINT PATRICK
      (pp. 508-510)
    • SCULPTORSʹ SOCIETY OF IRELAND
      (pp. 511-512)

      The SSI was established in 1980. The inspiration for such an organization came from the New York-based Japanese sculptor Minoru Niizuma, who had visited Ireland two years earlier for a workshop on stone carving (Meitheal ’78), organized by the Arts Council. Working in the Dublin Mountains with a small group of Irish sculptors, Niizuma advised them of the importance of forming ‘a federation’ to ensure that practitioners maintained control in the face of bureaucratic intervention (SSI Newsletter(May /June 1999), 9). Cliodna Cussen and Colm Brennan (qqv), participants in that first Irish sculpture workshop, became founder members of the Society....

    • SCULPTURE AS SITUATION
      (pp. 512-514)

      Before the twentieth century there were two generally accepted ways to make sculpture: modelling or carving. Meaning and value were connected, therefore, to the idea of making and the hand of the artist. However, this was changed by the deliberate relocation of meaning toconceptrather than the physicalmakingof art, dramatized by Marcel Duchamp’s exhibition of a ‘found’ urinal,Fountain, in the 1917 exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in New York. Duchamp’s argument was that an artwork could be the result of selection and intellectual interpretation and, by implication, the process of contextualization, as much as...

    • SCULPTURE IN CONTEXT
      (pp. 514-516)

      Sculpture in Context is a popular open-air sculpture exhibition held annually in Dublin. It was established in 1985 to counteract the absence of any outdoor space for the display of sculpture at that time. Cliodna Cussen, Gerard Cox and Colm Brennan (qqv) were the driving force of the group which proposed the exhibiting of work in a controlled landscape environment, rather than the dedicated art space of a gallery. The first ten exhibitions were held in Fernhill in Sandyford, Dublin, a magnificent garden comprising richly planted walkways and sloping woodland trails. Fernhill was already a popular attraction with the public,...

    • SCULPTURE IN THE PARKLANDS
      (pp. 516-518)

      Lough Boora Parklands in County Offaly has revealed some of the earliest traces of human activity in Ireland. In the 1970s, evidence of Mesolithic life was uncovered hidden beneath the Bord na Móna bog. At the end of the twentieth century a public art project was initiated for the site and Sculpture in the Parklands was born. Offaly County Council and the Arts Council assisted with funding from the outset and in 2002 an international sculpture symposium was organized in conjunction with the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland (qv). Six Irish and international artists took part on the understanding that the...

    • STATUARIES AND PLASTER SHOPS IN EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY DUBLIN
      (pp. 518-520)

      The most ubiquitous ornamental component of Dublin’s late eighteenth-century town house interiors is the figurative plaster medallion or bas-relief, typically forming the compositional focus of enriched plasterwork ceilings and decorative mural panels. Manufactured by ‘plaster shops’ in a serial manner that anticipated proto-industrial methods of production, they constituted the stock repertoire of decorative plasterers (or stuccodores) working in the neoclassical, or ‘Adam’, style. Foremost among Dublin manufactories was the firm of William Salmon, a statuary and supplier of cast ornament and raw materials (principally plaster of Paris) to gentleman and tradesman alike. This is a frequently overlooked aspect of early...

    • STUCCO – BAROQUE AND ROCOCO STUCCOWORK IN IRELAND, 1685–1775
      (pp. 520-525)

      The earliest surviving charter of the Dublin Guild of Bricklayers and Plasterers, the Guild of St Bartholomew, is dated 10 June 1670. The members, whose guild books are no longer extant, met in a room over St Audoen’s Arch. In the early days the guild was a force to be reckoned with, especially in preventing foreign craftsmen from working in Dublin, which threatened its members’ interests.

      It seems that a guild existed at an earlier date, since the names of some master plasterers and their apprentices are recorded in the Dublin Freemen rolls of the previous century, together with several...

    • TEMPORARY ART
      (pp. 525-529)

      The international emergence of temporary or non-permanent art in the 1960s and ’70s came about both as a counter-position to the prominence of permanent monumental or landmark public sculpture, considered by many artists to be monolithic, static and non-inclusive, and as the inevitable trajectory for artists evolving from the Conceptual Art and Arte Povera movements. Artists working with ephemeral media and in new situations began to make anti-monumental and often performative, durational work. In 1967, British artist Richard Long (b. 1945) made Ireland [500] a delicate installation comprising merely of a series of paper rings placed lightly on the sand...

    • TIME-BASED ART
      (pp. 530-533)

      Time-based art refers primarily to practices involving media such as 8 mm or 16 mm film, 35 mm slide projection (sometimes combined with audio tape) and video. In Ireland, these media have generally been employed since the late 1960s as part of a broader practice encompassing performance, sculpture and photography, or newer technologies. Often defined by ephemerality or by an exploration of site and space, time-based works have been presented within a range of contexts beyond the gallery, including radio, television and, in some instances, theatre. The Project Arts Centre in Dublin, established by a group of practitioners following a...

    • WAR MEMORIALS
      (pp. 533-536)

      The two violent conflicts that affected Ireland in the early twentieth century, World War I and the War of Independence, were commemorated by sculpture. These memorials also reflected the political division of Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act of 1920 and the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. There was substantial Irish participation by both unionists and nationalists in the armed services in World War I. The tenth and sixteenth divisions were mainly Catholic and the thirty-sixth division was Protestant. After the war there was great disparity between Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State in the construction of memorials to...

    • WAYSIDE MONUMENTS
      (pp. 536-537)

      Wayside monuments have been erected by the side of route ways since the early medieval period (seeAAIi, ‘Wayside Crosses’). Following the mid-sixteenth century Reformation, the exclusion of Catholics from their traditional places of worship prompted a surge in the commissioning of this type of monument, as patrons sought other ways of commemorating their dead and seeking prayers for the benefit of their souls. Memorials were typically set up by the roadside close to the patron’s residence, in marketplaces or sometimes in the churchyards of older medieval sites.

      Over 100 monuments still survive in Ireland from the seventeenth century,...

    • WOOD CARVING
      (pp. 538-541)

      ‘To tackle wood is a great sensation. Wood lives, comes to life under one’s hand, one wrestles with it, humours it, coaxes it, argues with it. The grain gives fight’ (Clare Sheridan letter to Anita Leslie, in A. Leslie,Clare Sheridan, New York, 1977, p. 278). Clare Sheridan (qv) made the transition from modeller to carver when she discovered the potential of wood on a visit to Montana in 1937. She subsequently found inspiration in pieces of wood for the making of her sculptures – ‘the formation of the branches’ of a dead cherry tree inspired a Crucifix (exh. 1948,...

  16. 6 IRISH SCULPTURE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
    (pp. 542-551)

    In 1993 Ireland participated officially, for the first time in over thirty years, in the Venice Biennale, still the most prestigious of the international festivals of contemporary art. The country has been represented at the biennale consistently ever since. Of the twenty artists sent to Venice over the past two decades, all but one might be described as a sculptor, within the loose but common definition of the expanded field of contemporary sculpture as encompassing video installation and performance, but excluding artists who are photographers, film-makers, or indeed painters per se. This tally does not take account of the independent...

  17. APPENDIXES
    (pp. 552-556)
  18. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 557-557)
  19. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 558-564)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 565-582)
  21. PHOTOGRAPHIC CREDITS
    (pp. 583-584)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 585-585)