What should public sculpture depict? What should it mean to the man or woman on the street?
There are examples of public sculpture everywhere, with 60 in Dublin alone. Deirdre Kelly, founder of the Living City Group which aims to promote the conservation and development of central Dublin, and musician Brush Shiels give their opinions on some of the sculptures on view around Dublin.
'Red Sails at Sunset' by Bernard Mortell is located beside the Martello Tower at Seapoint. The design represents sails changing into waves and back into sails again. Deirdre Kelly loves the piece but does not like where it is set. Brush Shields feels the sculpture would be better placed out at sea.
'Dark Man' by Paddy Glynn in Sallynoggin depicts a man and his dog. Deirdre Kelly likes this sculpture from afar,
There's a nice urban feeling about it.
Up close the sculpture is in poor condition, possibly due to the use of inferior materials.
'Blackrock Dolmen' by Rowan Gillespie depicts three elongated figures holding up a large capstone to symbolise the essence of Blackrock. Brush Shields appreciates the sculpture,
I think it’s nice, I think the symmetry about it is nice.
Deirdre Kelly also loves the piece but feels the location makes it inaccessible for people to fully appreciate its delicate detail.
Neither Deirdre nor Brush are fans of 'Untitled’ by Michael Bulfin, a steel sculpture outside the Bank of Ireland headquarters on Lower Baggot Street.
I think maybe the fact its untitled, maybe is an appropriate thing.
There is enthusiasm for Vincent Browne's bronze statue of a cinema usher ‘Mr Screen' outside the Screen Cinema on Dublin's Townsend Street. Referring to nearby Hawkins House Deidre Kelly sees the sculpture is
A saving grace for what I consider to be the ugliest building in Ireland.
‘The Meeting Place’ by Jackie McKenna on Liffey Street, shows two women sitting on a stone bench chatting together. It is referred to by some Dubliners as ‘The Hags with the Bags’. Deirdre Kelly says this sculpture is in,
It’s in its proper setting, you feel that it should be there and that it’s always been there and I think is beautifully done.
Both reviewers welcome art depicting people who are not famous figures.
It’s about time anyhow I think maybe ordinary people had monuments erected to them.
This episode of ‘Arts Express’ was broadcast on 30 March 1990. The reporter is Mary O’Sullivan.