Ballyfermot People’s Park
Ballyfermot is a planned suburb that was built to the west of Dublin city centre, just south of the Phoenix Park and River Liffey, in the mid-twentieth century. The area is bounded by Palmerstown, Chapelizod/Inchicore, Bluebell, Drimnagh, Walkinstown and Killeen/Clondalkin.
In 2021 the fenced, grassy area beside Ballyfermot Community Civic Centre will be transformed into a ‘people’s park’ – a free, open, democratic, inviting green space located within a crowded (sub)urban environment for the benefit of its community. In response to local consultation, the new park will be a place where people of all ages and abilities can experience and engage with nature, with planting, with movement, music and storytelling.
This is a participative commission, that will evolve through a process of consultation and collaboration between the selected artist, the park’s design team and the local community. It will result in the installation of a permanent sculptural work that responds to the new People’s Park and the broader context of present-day Ballyfermot.
The commission for Ballyfermot was a one-stage, open competition. Artists were invited to propose an approach to working in collaboration with the park design team and members of the local community to develop a sculpture for the park. Full details of the commissioning process are included in the Commission Brief.
The Selection Panel for Ballyfermot People’s Park included:
- Councillor Vincent Jackson (South Central Area public representative)
- Pam O’Reilly (Ballyfermot local community representative)
- Suzanne O’Connell (representative of DCC Parks and Landscape Services)
- Kelly Hickey (representative of the City Arts Office)
- Noel Kelly (representative of the Sculpture Dublin Steering Group)
- Jessica O’Donnell (representative of the Hugh Lane Gallery)
- Ciaran Smyth (external art expert)
DCC Public Art Officer, Ruairí Ó Cuív was the non-voting Chair.
‘I am honoured to have been chosen to create a sculpture for the new People’s Park in Ballyfermot and am looking forward to collaborating with the local community and Suzanne O’Connell in DCC Parks.
Now, more than ever, our parks and public spaces play a vital role in maintaining our sense of wellbeing – they are places where we can connect with nature and each other, places where we can build solidarity and resilience in our communities.
I will make a sculpture for Ballyfermot People’s Park that is informed by the stories, histories and desires of the local people. Through a collaborative process of listening, making and learning through experimentation, I will create an artwork that aims to capture the spirit of the place in a powerful symbolic gesture.’
Breda Marron is an award-winning sculptor, based in Drogheda. Her most recent sculpture commission, ‘Heart Space’ was created for Dundalk town centre, as part of the EU funded, Town Rejuvenation Project. Other public commissions include Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Co Down, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda and a series of sculpture commissions for schools.