Here’s some of the press shots I took last week for the ‘Parklife’ exhibition in St. Anne’s Park in Raheny. The show consists of interactive, outdoor work by six young Irish artists. It opened nearly two weeks ago with a great afternoon reception at the Red Stables studios. The show was curated by Claire Power and each of the artists has responded to the setting and the history of the park in unique ways that have really generated significant public interest in the park and it’s history as well as the exhibition.The show is due to run until August 23rd but with the continuing vandalism and destruction of the works, it may not last that long, so I’d recommend you pay a visit sooner rather than later. There are free guided tours every Sunday at 4pm and there’s no need to book. Simply show up at the Red Stables building. Photos of each artist’s work are below and plenty more on Flickr.
Pictured above is John Jones’ Study Room, which is a wooden replica of the study room of the old Guinness family house which once stood on that site. The park was once the estate of the family until they donated it to the council. Unfortunately, the night before the exhibition opened, some “vandals” decided to set fire to the centrepiece of the room (which funnily enough was a fireplace) and some of the windows have been damaged since. Despite the fact that the current state of the room is not what the artist intended, the fact that the original Guinness house was also destroyed by fire adds a certain unplanned parallel to the work. Carl Giffney’s Supreme Court: Imperial Measurements is a huge tennis court, complete with net, which is scaled four times larger than your average court. The piece has so far attracted great crowds of all ages who have been using it to play volleyball, football and ambitious games of tennis (all with new and unusual scoring systems). Tennis rackets were available from the Red Stables but, of course, were stolen, so please do bring your own gear and have a game. Maria McKinney’s piece, entitled Triadic Suspension/Trolley Disco (which is now less triadic thanks to the theft of one of the three trolleys) is a funny little comment of the weekend pastimes of choice in the modern age, as she combines the trends of shopping and clubbing in a delicately balanced installation in a park which is still frequented by many looking for something more peaceful on the weekends. Niamh Jackman’s Flower Bed: Dreaming of Immortality Beneath The Trees is about as peaceful as it gets, as she has installed two beds beneath some trees for visitors to the park to lie on. Her surrounding butterfly-like paper flowers and ink-patterned sheets provide a nice spot to relax if the weather holds out. Over towards the Red Stables entrance, Beth O’Halloran has installed numerous textile sculptures of animals indigenous to St Anne’s Park. Her works, entitled The Common, are scattered around the ground beside the pathway and there’s also a few really nice ones hidden in the trees. Aideen Barry has created a series of animated loops and short films based on the history, flora & fauna and urban legends of the park called Visual Fictions. The works can be downloaded as a free animated tour of the park to your iPod from www.theredstables.ie or www.aideenbarry.com. The works are also exhibited on projectors in the Red Stables exhibition space.