International Sculpture Day 2022

Saturday 30 April 2022 was International Sculpture Day (ISD) and it marked the close of the Sculpture Dublin public engagement programme, which ran from November 2020 to April 2022.

The programme for ISD 2022 aimed to attract, and deepen interest in the new commissions for the O’Connell Plinth and in Smithfield and Kildonan Park in Finglas, particularly from local people, and we ran a campaign of ads in local papers and flyers and posters in the neighbourhoods where these artworks now exist. We published new material relating to the design, production and reception of all the commissions, which you can find out about in the New Commissions section below.

The fourth commission, ‘Bushy’ by Corban Walker was unveiled on 28 April, and an online conversation curated by Pádraic E. Moore between the artist and Jessica Smith, Director of the New Art Centre was screened on Saturday 30 April. 

Iván Argote, the artist who will create a land art work in St. Anne’s Park was in Dublin over the weekend to talk about his ideas for the commission. He gave a talk in the Hugh Lane Gallery and attended a presentation of plans to local residents in the Winter Garden in St. Anne’s Park.

Sculpture Dublin has taken place within a wider context of public art commissioning in the city, and through our Interactive Map we highlighted a selection of ambitious public art projects that have been realised in recent years. Feel free to check out the map and go on a sculptural expedition to discover the art that has been created especially for these places.

We organised a number of sculpture tours for ISD - in St. Stephen’s Green and along different routes in the city centre, which will be led by art historians, Tony Suttle and Aoife Convery (see Tours) and we were delighted to promote a fantastic range of sculpture-related events happening in arts organisations across the city (see Associated Activities).

Along with commissioning new sculpture, the central focus of Sculpture Dublin has been to encourage greater public awareness of sculpture in the city. Our City Hall lectures and Engaging with Sculpture series, both curated by Paula Murphy, and Conversation Pieces curated by Pádraic E. Moore (all available online) provide wonderful opportunities to engage deeply with the history and practice of sculpture for anyone who is interested. 

From the outset Sculpture Dublin has sought to ensure that the commissioning process is competitive, fair and transparent and that local knowledge and involvement, as well as artistic ambition, are structuring principles. Details of the commissioning process were set out in each ‘commission brief’ and the selection panels were made up of public, community and art representatives, nominated through public bodies such as the Local Area Committees and Visual Artists Ireland. 

New networks, groups and communities of interest have grown around the commissions and we hope that these artworks will be noticed, known and loved into the future. We hope that all the engagement activity that has taken place through the programme over the past two years – artists’ cafes, public talks, focus groups, meetings, workshops, VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) sessions – have helped seed an infectious interest and passion for public art in our city, and an appetite for more!

From the Sculpture Dublin team - Karen, Sabina, Julia and Astrid.