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Please respect the art and the landscape. Look and touch, but do not climb on the sculpture. You may damage the sculpture and yourself. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Please do not litter. Visitors are welcome to picnic in the parklands but please bring your rubbish home with you. No alcohol in the parklands. Please do not enter areas marked “No public access” or where machinery is being used to install sculpture. Photography is permitted for personal use. Please respect other visitors in the sculpture park. Do not wade or swim in the canal. No horses, quad bikes or jeeps allowed along the walkways.
Sculpture park is open to the public from dawn to dusk. Free admission.
Welcome to Sculpture in the Parklands. The magnificent wetlands and wildlife wilderness of Lough Boora now host some of the most innovative land and environmental sculptures in Ireland. The artists, inspired by the rich natural and industrial legacy of the boglands, have created a series of large-scale sculptures that are now part of the Parklands permanent collection. Sculpture in the Parklands began as an international sculpture symposium in 2002 when seven Irish and international artist created works of art over a three week residency. Eight site- specific sculptures were created during the symposium and they form the nucleus of the project. The intervention of the symposium artists has added another layer of engagement for visitors to the area, by combining visual and conceptual interpretations of the geography, landscape, industrial history of peat harvesting and the people who lived and worked here. The success of the international sculpture symposium led to the formation of Sculpture in the Parklands, a 50-acre sculpture park, which continues to invite artists to create significant site- specific works of art during the artist in residency programme each year. The mission of Sculpture in the Parklands is to inspire artists to create artworks in enjoy your visit to the sculpture park and please observe the Sculpture in the Parklands visitors code. For Tours, Press Information and images concerning Sculpture in the Parklands please contact Kevin O’Dwyer email@example.com response to the unique landscape and industrial heritage of the cut away bogland and to build awareness of the arts within the community through public participation and interaction. In addition to permanent sculpture and time-based work, the project has a commitment to commissioning video artists, composers, writers, choreographers, and performance artists to interpret and document this unique landscape, folklore and industrial history. Kevin O’Dwyer Artistic Director Sculpture in the Parklands firstname.lastname@example.org
SKy-TraIn 2002 Mike Bulfin Ireland Having grown up in the area, my abiding memory is of the machines that Bord na Móna brought in to work the bogs: the ditchers, ridgers and trains. Looking at a line of peat wagons, flat on the horizon, I decided to take this image and commemorate it by translating it into a sculptural contextusing Bord na Móna trains and wagons in a different planehence the introduction of the rainbow curve.
raISeD CIrCLe 2002 Maurice MacDonagh Ireland Hundreds of miles of rails traverse Ireland’s bogs as narrow-gauge locomotives go to and fro, pulling long trains of turf wagons to power stations. Maurice MacDonagh’s Raised Circle, fabricated from this narrowgauge rail, floats one metre above the landscape. The rail is painted “Bord na Mona yellow”, which is found on everything from locomotives to turf harvesting machinery.
BOOra PyramID 2002 Eileen MacDonagh Ireland Assisted by Marc Wouthers (Belgium) The idea of a pyramid was one, which evolved during visits to the site and discussions with Bord na Móna about the materials available in the area. Our work is a stepped pyramid, eight metres wide and 6 metres high. It is made from unmortared glacial stone, which has been enshrouded in the growing bogs until revealed once more during peat harvesting. The pyramid is one of the most stable structures and has resonance with previous times and cultures.
raISeD LIne 2002 Maurice MacDonagh Ireland Harvested peat has inherent limitations as a material for Land Art. It is so vulnerable to erosion as to be unstable, yet it is the core substance of Lough Boora. This led me to the idea of containment - to create a container for the harvested peat within a form that derives from, and is relevant to, the landscape of Lough Boora.
LOugh BOOra TrIangLe 2002 Jorn Ronnau Denmark A space for meditation. A small triangular room with a very special atmosphere. Built around an iron frame, three black bog oak trunks will form the corners. Shaped irregular pieces of bogwood will form the somewhat transparent walls. The narrow entrance will be marked by a triangular serpent stepping plate. Inside will be a yew seat where visitors will be able to sit looking out of the narrow entrance toward the horizon.
a Tree In a SCuLPTure 2002 Naomi Seki Japan “ We finally learned to live and let live. When will the tree grow taller than the sculpture?” The sculpture compares the natural and man-made, organic and geometrical- the breathing and quiet between a tree and a sculpture
Lough Boora Parklands
the national centre of cutaway boglands rehabilitation
Cover image CyCLeS 2006 Caroline Madden Ireland The work Cycles is a conglomeration of ideas derived of Lough Boora’s inherently beautiful landscape and wealth of cultural heritage. It focuses on the cyclical nature of land and mankind’s interaction, be it ownership or the purpose for which the land is used. The overall sculptural form proposes a crown referencing the early Kingship of Ireland. At the base of the sculpture are twelve blade forms, symbolic of blades engaged to cultivate the earth. The raised linear stone wall which emanates from each blade into the landscape stands, as a recorded memory of the scaring required in bringing forth new life. New life is represented by the red seed forms spiralling out from the top of each arc to start a new cycle. The regal colour red simultaneously symbolizes life and death thus, providing a complete cycle.
60 DegreeS 2002
Kevin O’Dwyer Ireland
BOg WOOD rOaD 2005 Johan Sietzema Holland Walking around in this special landscape, I was thinking about the great forest, that inhabited this landscape over 3000 years ago. The 6 or 8 meters of peat, cutaway from where we are standing now, The Iron Age road-way constructions across the peaty seas, the size and power of the stone-blocks everywhere. In direction of the growing green “bog” of leafs from the trees today, my walk of several days, finding all these bogwood, thrown away like dirt and left behind, I arranged a procession of found black-oak trees coming out of the ground, climbing up to the level of the landscape long ago, like a visual and emotional way up, a bog track; “ Bog – Wood – Road” BOOra COnvergenCe 2006 Dave Kinane Ireland As other artists at Lough Boora have noticed the industrial bog is crisscrossed by lines of machine cuts, drains and railways. While observing this I was also drawn to the image of the Ferbane cooling towers, as I remember them on the horizon. The towers ironically, while appearing to be all curves, are in fact made of straight lines arranged in a circle. Now I could use the steel and wood of the railway and arrange them in a circle I could build a stable, skeletal construction. I could reference the industrial heritage of the cutaway bog in the choice of materials and by the form they take. ruaILLe BuaILLe 2008 Patrick Dougherty USA I have built a walk through work which embodies momentum and the forces of nature. The sculpture will rise above the grove of Alder trees and will include hallways and swirling chambers. This is one of my largest works to date.
SKy + earTh 2008 Martina Galvin Ireland My impression of the landscape is one of a teeming and active earth: dragonflies, butterflies, grasses and flowers moving and swaying, an undergrowth of constant movement and change. We look down all the time, watching and observing. There in Lough Boora Parklands I observed how big the skies seemed when I stopped looking down and looked up. The skies move constantly too, and rapidly. I wanted to capture the vast expansive and fleeting skies, if only temporarily, in the surface of the earth. Its like cutting into the bog to reveal the sky above. BOg OaK BrIDge 2008 Don O’Boyle Ireland This rustic bridge was fabricated from a re-cycled steel bridge base, which was once used for passage of light gauge engines and trailers across the bogs in the late 1940’s. The bogwood uprights are carbon dated over 4000 years old and come from Oranagh Bog. The pine handrail was found in Killaun Bog at the old firing range used by British soldiers from Crinkle Barracks in the late 1800’s. SySTem nO.30 2009 Julian Wild UK
TIPPLer BrIDge 2009 Kevin O’Dwyer Ireland This sculpture was fabricated from a recycled Tippler, which was used at the Ferbane power plant to unload peat from incoming carriages. The tippler is wrapped in galvanised steel and the long narrow horizontal openings are made from tubular stainless steel. The piece was inspired by the Nissen huts used in the 1940’s and 50’s, which housed Bord na Mona workers during the peat harvest at Boora.
The sculpture was fabricated from materials long associated with the industrial heritage of the cutaway bog- railway track, railway sleepers and steel plate. Two of the triangular forms were made from oak sleepers bolted to a steel armature; the sleepers were recently removed from a disused bog train railway line laid in the 1950‚s. The wood triangles symbolised the old use of the bog. The centre triangle was made from stainless steel and symbolises the new use of the Parklands. The triangular icons are held in place using railway track, which once facilitated the movement of peat to the Ferbane power station by the bog train. BOOra STaCKS 2002 Naomi Seki Japan
Sculpture in the Parklands
where art and nature meet
Alan Counihan Ireland My goal was to create a work which serves as a visual and physical entrance into a particular landscape, one within which the “passage” through dark matter into light can be physically felt. A trench cut into an existing turf bank, floored with rail track, lined with sleepers. Beyond the passage three vertical rails reach skyward. Beyond these, a trail into the forest.
Slieve Bloom Mountains
Lough Boora Parklands
DIreCTIOnS By rOaD
FrOm TuLLamOre: Leave Tullamore on N52 for Birr. At Blueball turn right onto R357 for Cloghan / Shannonbridge. The Parklands commence within 7 km of Blueball. FrOm BIrr: Take N52 towards Tullamore, exit for N62 to Athlone. Continue to Cloghan, turning right off roundabout onto R357. The Parklands commence within 2km.
This work is one of my tree series. While working in the fabrication workshops of Boora Works I found some disused chimney stacks. I was attracted to their colour and texture. I decided to make a sculpture, which incorporated eleven of the former chimney stacks. The chimneys were filled with peat and set into a specially constructed wooden frame made of Douglas fir. I planted the stacks with heather and birch, both native to Lough Boora Parklands. My intention was to give life back to the chimney stacks within the landscape haPPIneSS 2005 Marianne Jorgensen Denmark The artwork HAPPINESS is created by cutting the word happiness into the surface of this particular landscape, where the top soil consists of black peat. HAPPINESS is cut very deep into the turf by hand in the old-fashioned way and according to old methods in order to produce the most precise imprint of the text.
vISITOr’S PavILIOn anD BurrOW SheLTer 2006-2007 Caelan Bristow Ireland My shelter designs were inspired by ancient forms of enclosure and natural animal habitats, prioritizing reclaimed and natural materials for gentle integration of the forms in the landscape. I incorporated some of the disused peat harvesting machinery and materials found in the Bord na Mona yards, giving new life to discarded creatures. The shelters will be colonized by local flora and fauna, so the visitor’s experience of Sculpture in the Parklands is both monumental and vast.
Photographs 2002 and 2008 James Fraher Photographer in Residence
“System no.30” is part of a sequentially numbered series of works. I collected pieces of scrap from the site. I saw this process as a kind of archaeology, in which each gear and piece of metal told part of the story of the industrial heritage of the site. Welding these scraps of machinery together, I wanted to hold this collection of objects within a prevailing, ordered form. The disk form lends itself well to the idea of a skimming stone that appears to bounce over the surface of the canal. It is held in the air by the line of trajectory that it leaves behind.