In 1999 I qualified from the University of Dundee in Scotland with an M.Phil in Public Art & Design. In 1995 I returned to Ireland and decided that the way to raise public and Clare County Council awareness of the lack of public art in County Clare and how public art projects can embellish an environment, creating cultural aesthetics, a critical reflection on art and culture in nature, I administered the first public art project in County Clare.
I approached 4 sculptors and asked them if they would be interested in this pilot project, creating a temporary sculpture trail on Rabbit Island in Dromore Woodlands, the sculptors were Fiona O’Dwyer, Shane Gilmore, Caoimhghin O’Fraithile and John Langan. Altogether 15 pieces of sculpture in stone and wood were created and the exhibition ran from the 1st of September to the 1st of November in 1996. This exhibition proved to be a runaway success with over 5,000 people visiting the exhibition in the first month, proving that yes the people of County Clare were very interested in Public Art in outdoor settings. This exhibition provided the springboard to the following permanent exhibition “The Ennis Riverwalk Sculpture Trail”, where the first 5 permanent contemporary stone sculptures were located along the bank of the River Fergus in Ennis.
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