A collaborative % For Art Public Art Project by Martina Coyle, Hillary Gilligan and Pauline O’Connell

Text excerpt from Placing Art, A Pilot Public Art Programme in Sligo by Dr. Gavin Murphy, (board book, 144 pages, published 2000, designed by Atelier David Smith) ISBN-13: 978-0-9539704-0-7

“Regeneration, commissioned by Sligo County Council, brings together three artists, Martina Coyle, Hilary Gilligan and Pauline O’Connell. The project aims to regenerate a site in the townland of Knoxspark. The site is a large expanse of land divided by the N4 dual carriageway. The idea of three artists, from diverse backgrounds, to collaborate on a venture of this kind is perhaps unique in Ireland. It is unique in that it not only sets a precedent with its collaborative element, which extends from the three artists to the teams of workers, experts and local participants involved, but that the nature of the intervention questions what we normally hold to be art.”

“… Regeneration seeks to nurture ecological awareness, archaeological significance and community spirit through art. Each decision – whether it be to echo the contour of the river in the shapes cut out of the oxbow seats or encouraging imaginative flights as viewer’s lay their head upon the pillow stones – is grounded in this principle. The site will take many years for the planting to flourish fully. This extends the life of this artwork. In the end, Regeneration, is a matter of participation. To walk this site is to be enveloped in a locale sodden with history. It is to be treated to a journey where an art with its low-key aesthetic seeps quietly through the veins. To return again and again to this locale enables one to set personal affairs against minor shifts of a grander natural force.”

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