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).
The questions below are 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?
Please take a moment to complete the questionnaire below or email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
VAI Artists Café – Kildonan Park Commission
25 May, 15:00-16:30, Zoom
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
Free Registration. All welcome!
Meet Commissioned Artist, Sara Cunningham-Bell
27 May, 14:30-16:30
An opportunity for local people to meet Sara at the West Finglas Tenants & Residents Association Community Centre (52 Mellowes Rd, Finglas West, Dublin 11). Please feel free to bring a photo of a place, person or thing that says something about your relationship with Finglas.
Format of event: Sara will met with people one-by-one.
To comply with COVID safety guidelines, all participants in the consultation were required to wear a face mask and maintain 2 metres distance from others.
Focus Group with Sara Cunningham-Bell
15 June, 15:00-16:00, Online (Zoom)
Sculpture Dublin invites the local residents of Finglas West to meet for a one-hour focus group on Tuesday 15th June, with the commissioned artist, Sara Cunningham-Bell.
The artist would like to hear from you about Finglas, its indentity and its stories. Come along to share your knowledge and passion of Finglas!
Objective – explore and select symbols representative of the Kildonan Park area.
Aim – include all, leave no one out.
Free registration below. You will receive a Zoom link on the day. All Welcome!
Public Update – Kildonan Park Commission
22 June, 15:00-16:00, Online (Zoom)
Sculpture Dublin is inviting local people in Finglas to an online public meeting to hear more about the planned sculpture commission in Kildonan Park by artist Sara Cunningham-Bell.
At the meeting, Programme Director, Karen Downey will speak about the Sculpture Dublin commissioning process. Sara Cunningham-Bell, the commissioned artist, will talk about her consultations and engagement with local people and how those are informing her ideas for the sculpture.
The meeting will be chaired by the former Lord Mayor of Finglas and member of the Finglas Historical Society, Linda Emmett. The updates will be followed by a Q&A session.
Free registration below. You will receive a Zoom link in advance of the meeting. All Welcome!