It will remain in place for five years.
And today, the Cork public can enjoy the first look at a brand-new installation by contemporary Irish artist Niamh McCann on Carey’s Lane.
Sentinels [flew through the ages in the shape of birds] is the first of five contemporary sculptures to be installed around the city this year as part of a unique cultural trail for locals and visitors.
The lane-length sculptural piece is influenced by the architecture, geography, and incidental features along the length of Carey’s Lane, fixed above head height and held by the simple image of a seagull, perched atop a neon strip, sentinel-like on either end of the thoroughfare.
“I have a real fondness for Cork having spent formative years as a student and artist here and it’s my home away from home,” said McCann.
“I wanted to really get the true feeling of the city across in the piece. ‘Sentinels’ is a nod to the old and the new – from Cork City’s diverse and migratory history and its merchant and yachting tradition to its welcoming of new cultures and its urban adaptability.
Using a combination of contemporary materials and craft, the installation explores the themes of travel and landscape and draws a line from one end of the lane to the other. I was also influenced by the inhabitants and geography of the lane such as the history of craft, culture and the presence of the Huguenot graveyard.
The artist worked with sustainable materials suitable for outdoor settings such as bronze, jesmonite, and cedar wood. The red rope that links the pieces is a nod to the Rebel county’s traditional colour.
The new Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy said Island City – Cork’s Urban Sculpture Trail is the most ambitious public art project in Cork City to date:
“It is a testament to the resilience and creativity of our cultural sector and we were delighted to partner with Fáilte Ireland and work with the National Sculpture Factory to bring it to fruition.
“We believe this initiative will deepen the city’s connection with public art and encourage locals and visitors to explore new areas of the city as art comes to life on our streets. ”
Over the coming months, the remaining four sculptures will be installed on the Exchange Building on Princes Street, Cook Street, The Coal Quay, and Triskel Christchurch. Follow the new Instagram feed for updates.