Bushy Park is a large suburban park situated between the mature residential suburbs of Terenure, Templeogue and Rathfarnham. Mostly frequented by people who live in the surrounding areas and well-used by local sports clubs, it accommodates a variety of outdoor facilities, amenities and landscapes, from woodland and an ornamental lake to riverbanks, meadow and grassland. The park originated in the year 1700 and was purchased by Dublin Corporation (now Dublin City Council) in 1951.
This commission invited artists to explore Bushy Park, its assorted terrains and contemporary uses, and identify a space within the park that resonates and provokes a sensitive and considered aesthetic response.
Through a two-stage open competition, artists were asked to explore Bushy Park, its assorted terrains and contemporary uses, and identify a space within the park that resonates and provokes a sensitive and considered aesthetic response. Full details of the commissioning process are included in the Commission Brief.
The Selection Panel for Bushy Park included:
- Councillor Anne Feeney (South East Area public representative)
- Anne Talbot (Terenure/Templeogue/Rathfarnham local community representative)
- Michael Noonan (representative of DCC Parks and Landscape Services)
- Liz Coman (representative of the City Arts Office)
- Noel Kelly (representative of Sculpture Dublin Steering Group)
- Paula Murphy (representative of the Sculpture Dublin Steering Group in place of Hugh Lane Gallery representative)
- Eilís O’Connell (external art expert)
Non-voting Chair: Ruairí Ó Cuív (DCC Public Art Officer)
“I’m delighted and honoured to be awarded the Bushy Park Sculpture Dublin commission. For a long time I have wanted to create an artwork in a public park and I am very excited to be working with Sculpture Dublin and Dublin City Council Parks & Landscape Services on such a great project. The sculpture will engage with the public in its slender presence and reflect the remarkable environment of Bushy Park.”
Corban Walker was educated at NCAD, Dublin, and since the mid-1990s has gained recognition for his installations, sculptures and drawings using industrial materials to explore philosophies of architectural scale and spatial perception. He has exhibited in museums and galleries – and realised important public art commissions – worldwide. Walker’s work is part of numerous public and private collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and IMMA, Dublin. He represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and received the Pollock Krasner Award in 2015. He is a member of Aosdána.
On 28 April 2022, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland unveiled ‘Bushy’ by Corban Walker in Bushy Park.
Bushy is a distinctive new presence in Bushy Park, located in a woodland setting between the ornamental duck pond and waterfall in the north-east of the park. A study in restrained minimalism, the slender aluminium sculpture stands over 7m high and comprises many configurations of a simple stacked cellular grid. The interplay between projecting, recessed, and off-set sections of the sculpture creates a lively, elegant vision that belies the complexity of its making and echoes the ripples on the surface of the adjacent water. The surface of the metal alters over the course of the day, reflecting the ever-changing light while offering itself as an object of meditation alongside the pixelated glimpses of the leaves and branches of the mature oak trees that form its natural backdrop.