Central Area: Smithfield Square Lower

Local engagement

  • Visual Artists Ireland Café – Smithfield Commission

23 January 2021

As part of the Sculpture Dublin public engagement programme, Visual Artists Ireland is organising a series of cafés that bring together artists, arts organisations and audiences, and connect them with local projects.

This Café introduced Smithfield Square Lower and the immediate vicinity of the new sculpture commission. The awarded artist was presented at the event.

You could hear artists give insight into their working practices, learn about work they may be currently developing in their studios, and hear how research plays an integral role in developing new sculpture.

You could hear experienced arts professionals discuss the roles they play in supporting artists and in how sculpture is experienced by audiences.

We were also able to hear from local projects and initiatives that are taking place in the locality of the commission sites and engaging in discussion about what impact the sculpture commissions will have in the area.

Speakers included:

  • Alan Butler, Commissioned Artist
  • Karen Downey, Programme Director, Sculpture Dublin
  • Conor Casby, Coordinator, Dublin 1 & 7 School Completion Programme
  • Vanessa Fielding, Artistic Director, The Complex
  • Ruairí Ó Cuív, Public Art Officer, Dublin City Council


  • Workshop series with Stoneybatter Youth Service and artist Frank Prendergast

3 – 6 August 2021

This summer, artist Frank Prendergast will be working with a group of young people from the Stoneybatter Youth Service on sculpture workshops in relation to Alan Butler’s commission to be installed in Smithfield.

Artist Frank Prendergast and youth worker Billy McCrea meeting at the Stoneybatter Youth Service to plan the workshops taking place this summer!


  • Workshop series with Georges Presentation Primary School and artist Aoife McLoughlin 

September/October 2021

Artist Aoife McLoughlin will be working with students from the Georges Presentation Primary School, close to the new commission to explore and create 3D objects.


About the area

Smithfield is a part of Dublin 7 that has seen significant change in the past 25 years. Bordered by the River Liffey, Stoneybatter, Grangegorman and the city centre, it has been transformed from an agricultural marketplace into a complex of contemporary residential and commercial developments where many Dubliners live and work.

Smithfield Square Lower is a modestly-proportioned, pedestrian square located between the Red Line Luas tracks and Arran Quay. While the square itself is generally quiet, it sees high levels of passing pedestrian traffic and is looked upon daily by thousands of Luas users in transit across the city.

About the commission

Through a two-stage commissioning process, artists were invited to propose a new permanent public artwork for Smithfield Square Lower. Artists could choose to reference Smithfield’s long and varied history in their work or look to its contemporary contexts for inspiration.

The commissioned artist is Alan Butler. Find out more about the artist, and read about the commission here.


Public survey

We would love to hear your thoughts on public sculpture, what your expectations are and how you would like to get involved with Sculpture Dublin. Let us know by taking 10-minutes to complete this short questionnaire. Thank you!