Launch of Public Art Commission: amphitheatre for introverts (and others)

Posted in Connect on October 31, 2019.

Mayo County Council Arts Service launched the public art commission amphitheatre for introverts (and others) by writer artist Alice Lyons, at the new Leisure Complex at Lough Lannagh last Wednesday morning the 30th October.

Aoife O’Toole, Acting Public Arts Coordinator introduced the speakers writer-artist Alice Lyons, Mayo County Council architect, Robbie Maguire and Cllr. Michael Kilcoyne. Alice read the poem from which a couple of lines are on the limestone of the artwork itself. The musician John Hoban played a beautiful song he wrote at the end of the event.

Cllr. Michael Kilcoyne, Cathaoirleach of Castlebar MD, officially launched the artwork saying:

‘Alice Lyons has created a wonderful artwork which is a wonderful addition to the Leisure Complex and indeed the public artworks in Castlebar. It is both a peaceful resting place and a performance space.’

A programme of events took place on Tuesday 29th and 30th October as part of the launch. Cas McCarthy, arts in education facilitator lead a workshop on drawing from nature for families which explored different way of drawing for all ages. In the afternoon, Alice Lyons lead a fully booked workshop on the creative process for creative professionals. On Wednesday 30th Derval Dunford of Sui Mindfulness brought some calm to a small group for morning meditation. Artist and GMIT lecturer Hazel Walker joined Alice Lyons in facilitating a busy drawing session for adults on Wednesday afternoon. All events were based around the amphitheatre itself highlighting the many ways it can be used and luckily the weather stayed dry.

Alice is a writer and visual artist.  This is one of a number of public art commissions she has completed. The amphitheatre’s terraces are made of Kilkenny limestone and the lines from one of Alice’s poems is sandblasted into the limestone. It is designed as a public space for quiet, lakeside contemplation, as a compliment to the high-energy physical activity that will take place inside the new pool complex. People can enjoy the surrounding views of the lake and Croagh Patrick on a clear day. It is also anticipated to be used as a space for performances, gigs and readings by the local community.

The project was commissioned by Mayo County Council and funded through the Percent for Art Scheme by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Alice worked with Punch Engineers, Galway/Limerick; Padraic McTigue Contractors, Castlebar & Granstone, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo to create this public art commission.  Alice also worked with Mayo County Council staff; former Public Art Coordinator, Gaynor Seville and Castlebar Swimming pool complex architect Robbie Maguire. This high-quality contemporary artwork is the latest addition to the ongoing programme of public artwork in the county.

Pictured L-R: Anne Maire McGing, Arts Officer, Marie Crowley, Head of Castlebar MD, Robbie Maguire, Mayo CoCo Architect, Cllr. Michael Kilcoyne, Cathaoirleach Castlebar MD, Alice Lyons, writer – artist. Aoife O’Toole, A/ Public Arts Coordinator.

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