According to the Irish Museum of Modern Art “Public art is a broad term which refers to artworks in any media created for and sited either temporarily or permanently in public places. Public places are generally associated with external spaces; however, artworks can be situated outside in private spaces, such as shopping malls and private housing developments, or inside in public spaces, such as publically-funded art museums and galleries or hospitals and libraries”.
The “Per Cent for Art Scheme”, was established as a source of funding whereby one per cent of the overall cost of a construction project would be ring-fenced and allocated for work of public art. The Public Art: Per Cent for art Scheme – General National Guidelines are available at Per Cent for Art Scheme, and is designed to facilitate the commissioning of a wide diversity of contemporary art forms.
Some significant pieces of public art in Newbridge include:
Fionn MacCumhaill and his Hounds – Lynn Kirkham – Greenmantle (11th March 2010)
Made from Corten Steel and Stainless Steel, and located at Ballymany Roundabout, Newbridge (Exit 12 off the M7)
In Irish Folklore and Mythology – Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna were reputed to frequent the nearby Hill of Allen- which can been seen from the location of the sculpture. The piece depicts Fionn and his two hounds Bran and Sceolan. The sculpture came about following a consultation with Kildare County Council who wished to commission a significant landmark sculpture to celebrate Kildare’s colourful history and folklore and the presence of the Military in the area since earliest times and up to the present day. Source: Kildare Arts Service Website
Sentinel – James Hayes (8th December 2014)
Made from Brush Polished Stainless Steel and located at Buckley’s Cross Roundabout, Newbridge.
Commissioned to commemorate both the Bicentenary of Newbridge and the tenure of the Town Council (18 – 2014), Sentinel is a stylised, abstract figure – a sentinel or guard at the entrance to the town. It bears the symbol of Newbridge 200, which was an acknowledgement of passing milestones, but also of the continuing energy of the town. Source: Artists Commission Proposal.
Fr. Peter O’Higgins Dominican Martyr – Fr Henry Flanagan OP
Made from stone and located at the Church of St Eustace, Dominican Priory
This is one of many works created by Fr Henry Flanagan OP (1918 – 1992) which were commissioned for the Church of St Eustace, Dominican Priory / Newbridge College. Fr. Flanagan created some 400 works (both religious and secular) in wood, stone, concrete, plaster, copper, bronze, & enamels. Along with this piece there are many more inside the church including – Madonna and Child in polished limestone, and the Stations of the Cross in bog yew.
Source: Dominican Website (Community of St Eustace)
‘Cosantóir’ – Protector – Annette McCormack (2010)
Made from Bronze and located at Liffey Linear Park, Newbridge
Created from bronze by local artist Annette McCormack who has a number of other pieces in and around Newbridge – examples are Raised Spirit – (Bronze 1998) St. Patrick’s Terrace, and a bronze statue of St Conleth carrying a child holding up a St Brigid’s cross on his shoulders and more.
Source: Kildare Arts Service Website