Survey reveals desire for more public art in Dublin

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Seventy-eight per cent of Dubliners would like to see more public art across our capital city, according to an Ireland Thinks survey, with high levels of support for the commissioning of public art and for public involvement in the selection process (73 per cent).

The survey was carried out by independent research company Ireland Thinks to mark the close of Dublin City Council’s Sculpture Dublin programme, which saw six new sculptures commissioned for locations across the city. 

Over 4,000 people actively participated in Sculpture Dublin’s 174 events across 18-months that engaged local communities and the wider public in the commissioning process, lectures, educational events and workshops about sculpture and public art.

To further understand the public’s preferences when it comes to the type of sculpture that they found appealing, they were asked to select their favourite sculptures from a selection of images of well-known public artworks in Dublin and abroad.

The most popular sculpture in Dublin was Oscar Wilde by Danny Osborne in Merrion Square, followed by Apples and Atoms by Eilis O’Connell in Trinity College, with Magnus Modus by Joseph Walsh in the National Gallery of Ireland placing third.

Commenting on the findings of the survey the Programme Director of Sculpture Dublin, Karen Downey, said: “It is exciting that there is such a strong appetite for public art in Dublin and that people want to know about, and be involved in the commissioning process.

“It is also encouraging to see a preference for artists to be given creative autonomy in the design of the artwork, while also ensuring that commissions happen in the context of high quality public engagement programmes.”

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