Webinar | Sculpture Dublin: Introducing the O’Connell Plinth – City Hall

In partnership with Sculpture Dublin

This Visual Artists’ Café introduces the O’Connell Plinth – City Hall and the immediate vicinity of the second Sculpture Dublin commission. The winning commission will be presented at the event.

You will hear artists give insight into their working practices, learn about work they may be currently developing in their studios, and hear how research plays an integral role in developing new sculpture.

You will hear experienced arts professionals discuss the roles they play in supporting artists and in how sculpture is experienced by audiences.

We will also be hearing from local projects and initiatives that are taking place in the locality of the commission sites and engage in discussion about what impact the sculpture commissions will have in the area.

The O’Connell Plinth stands outside City Hall on Dame Street, where it is passed by tens of thousands of pedestrians and road-users each day. City Hall was originally built as the Royal Exchange, Dublin’s main centre of trading and commerce in the eighteenth century. It has been the seat of the capital city’s local government since it was purchased and renamed by the City Corporation (now Dublin City Council) in the early 1850s.

The O’Connell Plinth was originally constructed to support the monumental statue of Daniel O’Connell – ‘The Liberator’ – by John Hogan, that is now located in the Rotunda in City Hall. The plinth is made up of six blocks of Dalkey granite, with mouldings at the base and top, and is located at street level in a paved area leading to the main entrance of City Hall.

The speakers are:

  • Karen Downey, Programme Director at Sculpture Dublin
  • Alan Phelan (Commissioned Artist)
  • Brian Crowley (Heritage Services, National Monuments, OPW)
  • Dr. Helen Pheby, Head of Curatorial Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • Prof. Paula Murphy (UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy)

Recorded on 26 January 2021.


Please note: The information presented in the webinar was correct at the time of recording. However, the relevance of the content may change over time as guidance, and other amendments are applied to practice in this area. Contemporaneous guidelines or advice should always be sought by any individual.

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Sculpture Dublin: Introducing the O’Connell Plinth – City Hall

Sculpture Dublin

Sculpture Dublin is a Dublin City Council initiative.

Sculpture Dublin aims to raise awareness of Dublin’s sculptural heritage and to commission new works in parks and public spaces city-wide.

Sculpture Dublin will commission six new sculptures across Dublin from 2020-2022. Locations for the new commissions have been identified in each of the Dublin City Council Local Administrative Areas. A temporary sculpture will also be commissioned for the O’Connell Plinth, an empty plinth outside City Hall on Dame Street.

All of the new commissions will benefit from local engagement programmes designed to raise awareness, provoke conversations about sculpture and involve people in discussing how sculpture and public art enhance their neighbourhood. Local engagement will take the form of online surveys, public meetings, artists’ cafes and culture clubs, as well as opportunities to participate in the creation of some of the new commissions and partnership projects with schools, libraries and community organisations.


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