‘We are disappointed, upset, and angry.’
Gardaí are investigating the theft of two public artworks from the Cork Pride Artist-in-Residence installation on Sullivan’s Quay.
Award-winning artist Stephen Doyle had been working on the pieces for months before both were ripped from their secure fixings and stolen on Friday.
“To say I’m upset is an understatement yet I’m not shocked,” said Stephen.
“I’ve spent countless hours in tandem with Cork Pride in getting this project off the ground and getting it to that point. This body of work was inspired by the LGBTQ+ community in Cork, specifically members of the Gay Project and LINC.”
The paintings feature individuals from both groups engaging with one another in built safe spaces.
“Recent events in Ireland have reminded us how far we still have to go as a society and how important these spaces are to the queer community. We require these spaces to share our experiences, bond, heal and find our families. By developing this body of work in a public space such as this, it mirrors the level of vulnerability we feel existing as ourselves walking the streets.” said Stephen.
“Over the last number of months I’ve been on site painting them and while most people who spoke to me were inquisitive and kind about the artwork, it has to be noted that a number of people spat homophobic and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric towards me as I worked.
“I’d rather not speculate at this time as to why someone would take the work but given the amount of effort it would take to remove them, it meant someone really wanted them far from the public realm. I’ve been in contact with the Gardai and they will be looking into the matter.”
Stephen is hoping CCTV will help catch the culprit and has appealed to the public to help.
“I’m looking for any information, even If you could tell me when you last saw it on-site would be greatly appreciated. All I’m looking for is the return of the work, I hold no malice to whomever has taken them.”