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Official Launch Event for new sculpture in Kilkelly

Echo, Again close up       full sculpture Echo, Again

‘Echo, Again’, the new sculpture by artist Vivienne Roche in Kilkelly adds the finishing touch to the improvements in the town centre and will be officially launched on Thursday 26th May at 3pm

Tommie Gorman, RTÉ’s Northern Editor, previously Europe Editor, will attend as guest speaker.  A native of Sligo, his first job was as a reporter with the since defunct Ballina-based Western Journal.  Cathaoirleach Cllr.Michael Burke will officially launch the sculpture.  All are welcome to attend and refreshments will be provided.  Everyone is invited to meet at the sculpture in the Square in the centre of the town at 3pm.

The sculpture incorporates a special exhibition space for school children from St. Treasa’s National School in Kilkelly.  This unusual feature has a title of its own, namely ‘The Flip Side’.  (Those of you who remember a time before CD’s will know it as a term attached to musical records).  Vivienne has started a programme of work for exhibition by 5th and 6th class and this feature of the artwork will be unveiled at the official launch

The artist said “This is the first time I have shared a sculpture as a public exhibition space with children.  Through The Flip Side project it becomes their work as well as mine.  The sculpture is designed to change with the light and the weather.  It will also change over time as children in the school take possession of their part of it”.

Entitled Echo, Again, the sculpture is made in three main materials – corten steel, cast bronze and stone.  Located in a prominent, south- facing position it is 2.5 metres high by 3.6 metres wide. The feature elements of the sculpture are lily and anthurium flowers cast in bronze and cut out of steel to create a playful dynamic on the surface of the sculpture and on the wall and ground behind.

Funding for the commission is via the Percent for Art scheme, which is related to local capital building schemes, such as housing, roads or water supply schemes. This scheme brings additional funds to the area specifically for new artwork. As no satisfactory art work emerged from two limited competitions, the judging panel chose to make a direct commission with an accomplished, nationally recognized artist. The panel included arts expertise, local community and council representation and were very committed to acquiring the best art work possible for Kilkelly.

The artist, Vivienne Roche is based in Co Cork and is one of the country’s leading and most respected sculptors and a member of Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists, limited to a small number of artists who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland.  She has been commissioned to produce some of the most iconic public artworks in Ireland, such as NC Iris, at the National College of Ireland, unveiled by President McAleese, and the Whitelight Garden in Parkwest, Dublin, amongst many others.  This will be her first sculpture in the West of Ireland.

Already the artwork has received a positive response for its beauty and the high quality of the materials.  Many people recognise the lilies, which are common to Co Mayo.  Some have found their own meaning or interpretation of the work, seeing it as symbolic of easter lilies representing the 1916 Rising, others reading into the positive and negative elements of the sculpted flowers alongside the cut out images, which also create beautiful reflections of flowers onto the wall behind the sculpture.  The artist explained that the title, Echo, Again was taken from the Greek myth where Echo calls to Narcissus without any response. 

For further information about the launch event, sculpture or public art in Co Mayo, contact Gaynor Seville, Public Art Co-ordinator, 094 904 7561

Posted: 11/05/2011

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