Earlier in the year I was commissioned under the Per Cent for Art scheme to create a sculpture for a secondary school in Drogheda Co. Louth. The brief was to create a piece to commemorate the transition of the school from its humble beginnings into the new extensive extension, the sculpture is based on the subject of the movement of time. Our history traced through stone. The permanence of stone means that much of what we know about our past has been discovered through exami
September was a busy month for stone festivals. First we returned to ‘The Gathering of Stones‘ site to put the final arch in place and to make plans for the final push to completion of our dry stone monument. Then with little respite the clan regrouped on Inis Oirr Island for our annual trip out to Féile na gCloch (Festival of Stone). But before I had time to absorb the fun had on Inis Oirr island, I had to rush home to repack my bag to catch my flight to another great stone
Here is a look at my latest outdoor classroom project I completed recently. In early 2015 Scoil Mhuire National School in Lucan, Co. Dublin put out a tender to commission a creative outdoor space for the students to utilise for years to come. It was commissioned under the government’s ‘Percent for Art Scheme‘ which allocates 1% of the building cost of any public building to the installation of an art project. The school prides itself on its commitment to sport and creativity.
Well the stone festival season is well and truly upon us. This year I started my festival season with a trip to Austria’s largest wine-producing town, Langenlois. The wine however was just a indulgence and not my main reason for traveling here. And as much as I like a ‘dry’ white wine, it was in fact the ‘dry’ stone I was here for. But before I can reminisce about hot weather and cold wine I have to go back to The Gathering of Stones 2013 to when we met Helmut Schieder. Helmu
Almost a year late, but here is the story of my involvement in Bloom in the Park garden show last year. Picking up icy cold stones in January of 2013 as the winter was slowly easing its grip on the country, I powered on through the cold in a bid to get my outdoor classroom project completed for my May deadline.
It was during this time that I was contacted by renowned Irish landscape designer Tim Austen. A regular medal winner at Bloom, Tim was designing a large garden for the
Having this sculptural outdoor classroom project for a school as my first large public work was both challenging and rewarding. Following a site visit with the arts committee of the school I created a concept that would be distinctive of the schools ethos and beliefs, while also creating a visually stimulating space that would be a slice of earthiness and nature in an urban area largely dominated by concrete and steel.
It took almost a year, and 100 tonnes of stone to complet
After months of anticipation, stones, masons and dry-stone enthusiasts from the four corners of Ireland as well as the rest of the world came to a head in the center of Ireland. June 20th 2013 marked the beginning of The Gathering of Stones. Stories were shared, songs were sung (and written) and monuments were built. Just like the cross marked the spot in the posters, the ‘Emigrant Stones’ mark the centre of our dry stone monument. From the beginning. Last summer after Feile
As part of the sculptural outdoor classroom that I am working on at the moment for a school here in Dublin, I was asked to incorporate a tree somewhere into the design to represent the ‘Family Tree’. The ‘Family Tree’ is a song which has come to symbolise the ‘Croí na Scoile’ (The heart of the school). I was also asked to give the students a chance to have some input into the outdoor classroom so that they can make it their own (a very important part of the process for sure)
Happy New Year everyone. I feel the need to write a new blog post as I have been neglecting to do so over the past six months or so. Looking back at 2012 it has been a mixed year. While battling our way though a severe recession I reflected on some of the positives of 2012. Although I had a long and quiet winter and spring, 2012 did bring along a few projects that I am very happy with. I did get to make a stone mosaic panel that I had been wanting to make for some time. My mi