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Per Cent for Art Commissions

The Per Cent for Art Scheme Sculptures installed on the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme Bray
Photo: Artist David Beattie (Credit: Barbara Flynn)

The installation took place on Friday August 9th of newly commissioned public art work which was made possible from the River Dargle Flood Defence Scheme works undertaken by Wicklow County Council.  The commission was funded by the Office of Public Works and the selection process was managed by Curators Eilis Lavelle and Jennie Guy on behalf of the Arts Office of Wicklow County Council. 

The artist was selected in 2018 in response to a call for ideas to animate the newly created public walkway just off Fran O’Toole Bridge. Artist David Beattie was the successful artist. David holds a BA in Fine Art from NCAD and an MA in Visual Art Practices from DLIADT.  He lives and works in Dublin and has exhibited extensively in Ireland, the UK, Paris, Canada and the USA.  He has completed several public commissions and has been awarded residencies some of which include in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Pittsburgh, Toronto, and London.  Playfully welcoming new connections between foreign ‘things’, Beattie’s practice encourages a sense of curiosity and exploration in the act of displacing quotidian objects. Assembled from a variety of everyday materials the work attempts to provide a framework for assessing our daily surroundings. The interactions between object, space and viewer create a dialogue or wider system in which all elements have a role to play. This process of engagement can be seen as a search for a tangible present through the intermediary moments where physics, philosophy, technology and nature collide.

Conceived as a reflection on the physicality of sound and our experience of sound in public space, Beattie has created a series of sculptures along the river walk that will highlight and accentuate the flow of the river and the tidal shift of the sea in Bray Harbour. A number of free standing cast terrazzo forms are located along the walkway, arranged and positioned to gather the ambient sounds of the surrounding environment. 

The works will be fully completed in the coming days and the artist will be in conversation on the walkway as part of the Arts Office Culture Night Programme on Friday September 20th.  For further information contact

The Per Cent for Art scheme is a government initiative, first introduced in 1978, whereby 1% of the cost of any publicly funded capital, infrastructural and building development can be allocated to the commissioning of a work of art. Since 1997 this scheme has been made available to all capital projects across all government departments. 

Capital programmes where the Per Cent for Art applies include: - public housing projects, (social and affordable schemes); transport and roads; environmental schemes such as drainage schemes, pump stations and reservoirs; public buildings such as libraries, public offices, schools, hospitals, medical centres, prisons, arts buildings - cinemas, theatres, art centre; conservation works carried out to public buildings and sites and, urban and village renewal schemes. Other government departments such as the HSE and the Department of Education and Science and agencies such as Udarás na Gaeltachta, OPW, Transport Infrastructure Ireland are actively commissioning artworks under this scheme.