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Outdoor Classroom Project Donabate, Co. Dublin

Commissioned under the government's 'Percent for Art Scheme' for a primary school in County Dublin, this circular solid stone structure was created as a sculptural outdoor classroom. The concept was to have a structure that is visually inspiring from both the outside and the inside, a place for children to get excited about being in the great outdoors as well as learning about it, a space that visually demonstrates the schools ethos and sparks excitement and curiosity in the process.

The sculpture also includes artwork and mosaics by the students in the school. All 500+ students were involved in this part of the project. Read more about this project here 

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Courtyard Classroom Lucan, Co. Dublin

Also commissioned under the government's 'Percent for Art Scheme' for a primary school in County Dublin, this drystone structure was created as a sculptural outdoor classroom. The concept was to creat a space that is both sculptural and functional. A space that pay humage to Irelands rich drystone heritage aswell as Lucan's cultural heritage. 

The sculpture also includes mosaics by the students in the school. All 417 students were involved in this part of the project. Read more about this project here 

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The Timekeeper Drogheda, Co Louth

The Timekeeper Drogheda, Co Louth

Commissioned under the government's 'Percent for Art Scheme' for a secondary school in County Louth. 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.  

From a distance the large vertical blocks of sandstone  takes  on the appearance of a Neolithic structure. As you approach the sundial element of the sculpture becomes apparent.

The large angled stone in the centre (Gnomon) is angled parallel to the earth's axis paying tribute t the first  Gnomon style sundials invented in the late 1300's. The bars of engineered limestone in the floor along with the relief carvings of cogs and wheels in the standing stones represent modern time.

 

The stone seating area in the courtyard between the old and new buildings is an extension of the sculpture, with the timecapsule placed  under the stone mosaic in the floor, a symbol of the schools confidence of the in its future. Read more about this sculpture here 

 

The Fishers of Knowledge  Lucan, Co. Dublin

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Commissioned under the government's 'Percent for Art Scheme' for St. Andrews National School in Lucan, Co. Dublin.

The design of this creative space is based on the theme of St. Andrew, represented in fluid motions of waves, currents and sails.

The project is titled ‘Fishers of Knowledge’ which is a play on the phrase “fishers of men” which was spoken by Jesus when He was calling two of His disciples, Simon and Andrew, to follow Him.

From a distance, the dominant feature of the outdoor space is the two large standing stone slabs which reach a height of almost 3 meters. These stone slabs represent the sails of a ship and stand behind the teacher’s stone chair.

Spanning out on either side of the teacher’s chair are two tiers of stone walls. The stonework in these walls is flowing and spiralling, representing waves. Seasonal flowers are planted between and behind these walls to encourage wildlife into the area and give the students a greater sense of being in nature.

The main feature of the floor is the large pebble and tile mosaics representing fish traveling up currents. The project also incorporate a number of wooden benches mosaic artwork created by students of the school.    

 

Collaborations 

Dry Stone Sulpture  Electric Picnic, Co. Laois

Dry Stone egg shaped reclaimed stone and slate structure with cantilevered timber seats.

This permanent addition to the Electric Picnic site was a collaboration with fellow DSWAI members Tom Pollard, Julia Gebel and Alex Panteleyenko.

The concept for this one was dreamt up by Tom Pollard. All materials for this sculpture were sourced onsite. The sculpture was built over the course of four days by the team. Next time you're going to Electric Picnic, be sure to check it out. You will find it in between the trees in the Greencrafts area of the festival.  

The Gathering of Stones  Lough Boora, Co. Offaly

During my time as Chairman of the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland (DSWAI) I have been lucky enough to be involved in both the design and building of a very interesting project in a public sculpture park in the Midlands The design and building of this monument was a collaboration of many people and was built entirely of dry-stone construction using stone gathered from all over the country and beyond.

In fact the most impressive and symbolic donated stones are four granite slabs from the original emigrant docks in New York over which millions of Irish emigrants walked over when arriving in the New World. 

The structure represents the country of Ireland and symbolises a welcome home to the people who left and never returned.  The outer walls represent the four provinces of Ireland. Built from a stone type and style from each province it represents, the outer walls embrace the central feature (the fifth province) representing the creative mind, the diaspora. These millions of souls and talents left our shores and spread their skills far and wide.
Built by the people of Ireland for the people of Ireland both home and abroad.  You can read more about it here

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Looking through the second entrance