Sculpture in Context 2014 returns once again to the National Botanic Gardens, showcasing the work of Irish and international artists. It is the largest and most prestigious outdoor sculpture exhibition in Ireland.
Sculpture in Context was established in 1985 to raise the profile of sculpture and provide a platform for artists outside the normal gallery context. It is a not for profit organisation run by sculptors. The exhibition was founded by Cliodna Cussen, Colm Brennan and Gerard Cox and originated in Fernhill Gardens where it ran for 10 years. Since then it has been hosted in the Conrad Hotel, Malahide Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, the Irish Management Institute, Dublin Castle, Farmleigh House and since 2002 has been held in the magnificent National Botanic Gardens.
Sculpture in Context promotes artists and creates opportunities for practicing artists to exhibit their works in a wider public arena. The organisation has provided much needed opportunities for Irish and non-Irish sculptors in Ireland.
In total there will be 150 pieces on display this year (including a number of small pieces in the gallery above the cafe). This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the stunning botanic gardens and discover dozens of art works placed all around the gardens and within the glasshouses.
These photo collages are just a little taste of what will be on view for the duration of the exhibition.
I am delighted to announce I have a piece in this years exhibition.
This natural stone and mirror mosaic piece consists of golden granite and iconic Liscannor sandstone from Co. Clare (I visited this quarry a while back with the DSWAI. Read more about this iconic stone here)
I have made a number of square and rectangular mosaics for gardens before but, to the delight of my steel fabricator (note hint of sarcasm) I decided to go with a more organic shape this time
Its funny, when I’m working away on a piece in the studio it always looks so much duller. Endless hours painstakingly splitting down pieces of stone with grinder and chisel, wondering if it will all come together.
Thankfully, as always, my uncertainties are put to rest when the piece is cleaned up and put out in its garden setting. That moment when the sun comes out and the piece begins to glisten, reflecting back the lush garden greens and the ever changing sky, that is when I fold my arms and give it the nod of approval.
Sculpture in context officially opens to the public on Thursday the 4th September and will run to 17th October 2014 so plenty of time to come see all these great pieces on display. And if you’re in the market for buying a unique piece of art be sure to bring your cheque book as most of the pieces on display will also be for sale. The gardens are open Monday to Friday 9 am – 5 pm and Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays 10 am – 6 pm. Be sure to call into reception and get yourself a catalogue so you don’t miss any of the pieces waiting to be discovered around the gardens.