Dromina-based artists, Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring, have been commissioned by Cork County Council to create an artwork to commemorate the communal spirit shown by the people of County Cork during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new artwork, chosen following a public call for proposals by Cork County Council to artists based in Cork County, is to be located by the Public Library in Bruce Square, Charleville.
The Art Commission was initiated by former Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle, who, during his term of office, witnessed at first-hand the tremendous effort made by individuals and community organisations in a spirit of collaboration and co-operation, working together for the common good.
Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring, a husband and wife team, have been collaborating on public art for the past 20 years. Their work has developed from small low-relief wall panels, using cast aluminium as a medium, through to large scale public commissions combining a variety of different materials from cast bronze to wood, enamelled copper, glass, stone and stainless steel. One of their largest commissions commemorates the victims and survivors of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, located at the Lusitania memorial on the Old Head of Kinsale. Their Aoife and Strongbow seat sculpture in Waterford City also garnered acclaim.
Welcoming the announcement, the current Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said,
“This commission is very much of its time. We are still in the midst of a major public health crisis and are again calling on everyone to continue to make sacrifices to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. The designs for this artwork also recognise the efforts made by health professionals and the various voluntary and statutory bodies who continue to work tirelessly for the common good.”
The artists, Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring explain,
“The idea behind our artwork stems from the continuing great effort that the community has taken to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, that has changed our lives in so many ways. One of the main aspects of this effort was delivering physical, emotional and psychological support to all people cocooning and in need of help as a result of isolation and reduction in everyday services. This community effort and cooperation contributes greatly to the struggle against this cruel and insidious virus that still lurks everywhere in the shadows. We hope that our artwork will reflect this great communal spirit which we all share.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey commented,
“Former Mayor Cllr. Ian Doyle is a longstanding supporter of the Arts and, among his many duties as an elected member, sits on the Council’s Arts, Culture and Languages Strategic Policy Committee. I congratulate him on his vision in suggesting a public art commission as an appropriate way of marking community co-operation in this difficult time. Artists have the ability to make us feel and share, through their creativity, some ideas and concepts that can be difficult to articulate. I look forward to seeing the completed artwork installed in Charleville in 2021.”