Creative Photography Project around the Kildonan Park commission for International Sculpture Day
Artist Sara Cunnigham-Bell invited the people of Finglas to respond to her new sculpture in Kildonan Park through a creative photography project. The Finglas Photo Group, as well as local residents who live around the park, are considering different ways of seeing ‘The Bridge’, through the lens of their cameras.
See all the photographs here: Kildonan Photo Project ISD 2022
Videos of Sara Cunningham-Bell and Local People Responding to the New Sculpture
Watch the videos HERE.
QR CODE links to VIDEO about the making of The BRIDGE
There is a QR code on the plaque beside the sculpture which links to this video by Sara-Cunningham-Bell, documenting some of her local engagement work in Finglas, along with the fabrication of the sculpture and its installation in Kildonan Park.
THINK OF A TITLE!
Looking at the visualisation, what do you think the sculpture should be called? What does it say to you?
You could submit your proposed title online or in the Finglas Library. We received more than 70 suggestions – thank you for your participation!
Kildonan Park Sculpture Commission – Public Update
24 September, 14:00-15:00, Online (Zoom)
Earlier this year, Sara Cunningham-Bell was awarded the opportunity to create a public sculpture for Kildonan Park following a 2-stage open competition.
Sara’s idea for a dynamic, large-scale sculpture that is aimed to act as ‘a positive and uplifting presence in the locality’ was informed by a range of consultation activities with local people, including creative workshops, a webinar, focus groups, questionnaires and many online and in-person conversations.
At the meeting, Sara presented her final design for the sculpture. She talked about her creative process and how the ideas and stories, hopes and aspirations shared with her by so many people have been resolved into an exciting and inclusive visual form.
Sara also invited local people to suggest a title for the new sculpture by submitting ideas, either online or to Finglas Library.
The meeting was chaired by Linda Emmett, former Lord Mayor of Finglas and member of the Finglas Historical Society.
Sculpture Workshops with Finglas Youth Resource Centre and Artist Alan Mongey
Through September and October 2021, a group of young people from the Finglas Youth Resource Centre learnt a range of sculpture-making techniques with artist Alan Mongey.
Sculpture Workshops with Finglas Men’s Shed and Artist Alan Mongey
Through July and August 2021, Alan Mongey worked on a sculpture project with a group from the Finglas West Men’s Shed to create a life-size, figurative sculpture.
Public Update – Kildonan Park Commission
22 June, 15:00-16:00, Online (Zoom)
An update meeting with Sara Cunningham-Bell and local residents, chaired by the former Lord Mayor of Finglas and member of the Finglas Historical Society.
Focus Group with Sara Cunningham-Bell
15 June, 15:00-16:00, Online (Zoom)
Focus group with local residents and commissioned artist, Sara Cunningham-Bell.
Meet Commissioned Artist, Sara Cunningham-Bell
27 May, 14:30-16:30
This was an opportunity for local people to meet Sara in-person at the West Finglas Tenants & Residents Association Community Centre (52 Mellowes Rd, Finglas West, Dublin 11).
VAI Artists Café – Kildonan Park Commission
25 May, 15:00-16:30
Visual Artists Ireland hosted an online café bringing together local arts and community voices around the Kildonan Park commission.
– Sara Cunningham-Bell, Commissioned Artist
– Eddie O’Gara, Landscape Architect, Dublin City Council
– Mary McDermott, Finglas Local Community Representative
– Rachel Kelly, Finglas Youth Resource Centre
– Councillor Keith Connolly, Public Representative for Finglas, Glasnevin and Ballymun
– Karen Downey, Programme Director, Sculpture Dublin
The questions below were designed to explore what makes Finglas special and what aspects of its identity should be celebrated through a visual artwork.
Place: Where in Finglas do you like to spend time? Is there a place or feature of the neighbourhood that you love?
Culture: What are your favourite cultural activities and local traditions – sports, arts, other?
Objects and symbols: Is there an object or symbol that says something about Finglas to you? What is it and why is it meaningful?
People: Who are the important people in your area – who has done something good for the locality and made a difference to people’s lives?
A questionnaire was made available online for local people to tell us what they think about Finglas
Kildonan Park is a 20-acre public park in Finglas West. It is simply laid out, with playing fields, a path encircling its perimeter and a football club house and changing rooms located at either end. Plans are currently being developed to upgrade and enhance its facilities and transform it into a space that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy.
The Sculpture Dublin commission for Kildonan Park was a two-stage, open competition. Following the first round, three short-listed artists were invited to propose an idea for the sculpture, based on their public consultations to date, and an approach to further engagement with members of the local community to develop the final sculpture.
Artist, Sara Cunningham-Bell has been awarded the commission based on her initial plans for a dynamic, large-scale sculpture that will act as an inclusive landmark for Kildonan Park. Since late last year, Sara has undertaken a series of creative workshops with local groups, exploring questions of identity and processes of making.
Sara said: “I am delighted and deeply honoured to be selected to create a sculpture for Kildonan Park. The idea for the artwork has been informed by listening to, and learning from the people of Finglas. It is driven by a desire to produce a significant sculptural form, that can be interacted with, and enjoyed as a feature of the park, which represents a positive and uplifting presence in the locality.”
Sara Cunningham-Bell studied at Edinburgh College of Art, where she received the Andrew Grant Award. Sara has undertaken many public art commissions, including for the Ulster University, Kingspan Stadium, DECAL, IRFU, The Mater Hospital, Victoria College Belfast, European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, Bass Ireland, and the Centre of Theology and Philosophy. She represented Ireland at the Salon Grands et Jeunes D’Aujourd’Hui in Paris, Luxembourg and Japan, and a recent work, ‘Towards Tomorrow’ was short listed for the Irish Sculpture Concrete Award. Sara is represented by The Hamilton Gallery and her work is held in various public and private collections.
Community Consultation (Phase 1)
Key points arising from the creative engagement workshops facilitated by Dublin City Council Culture Company, the Sculpture Dublin online survey and emails received, are as follows:
- The absence of women in public art and sculpture came up repeatedly, and the need to acknowledge or celebrate women’s contribution to community and city life.
- A strong interest in the artwork being a ‘landmark’ – large in scale and made of durable materials; dynamic, joyful, positive and uplifting.
- To create a feeling of ownership and pride – that the artwork reflects and celebrates local culture and contributes to a sense of shared identity.
Community Consultation (Phase 2)
Consultation with the local community will continue over the months ahead to further inform and focus Sara’s ideas for the artwork. The process will include a questionnaire and public meetings (in-person and online).