Ruairí Ó Cuív on Collaborative Practice and Public Art
Public Art has been an evolving practice over many decades now, moving from the artwork (often sculptural) commissioned by architects or planners for the adornment of buildings or public spaces to much more complex and interesting practices embracing all art forms. That is not to say that on occasions a permanent artwork is not suitable or even brilliant. In this context, I think of commissions, such as, the iconic ‘Perpetual Motion’ by Remco de Fouw and Rachel Joynt for the Naas, bypass (N7),1995 commissioned by Kildare County Council or the highly nuanced sculpture ‘Misneach’ by John Byrne commissioned by Breaking Ground, Ballymun, installed in 2010. These two artworks espouse all that is excellent in such commissioning practice. But all too often this approach can be clumsy, simplistic, and populist (in the worst of ways) resulting in poor quality artwork, which is foisted on us permanently.