From Earth to Sky by Alfio Bonanno will be featured in the Chinese Public Art and Ecology magazine for the August edition.
Photographs used of the 2002 International Sculpture Symposium and the Patrick Dougherty installation (labelled Johan Sietzema)
From Earth to Sky - Alfio Bonanno
Sculpture in the Parklands 2010 The official launch of Alfio Bonanno sculpture "From Earth to Sky" will take place at Sculpture in the Parklands on September 25th at 2pm. The sculpture will be officially launched by sculptor Mike Bulfin. An artist’s reception will take place at The Boora Inn from 4pm.
For the 2010 edition of Sculpture in the Parklands, Danish sculptor Alfio Bonanno familiarized himself with the grounds at Lough Boora. Initially inspired by the vast dark peat landscape and ancient bogwood forest, upon hearing the sound of running water he recognized a powerfully symbolic site for his environmental project. With a central conical tower structure and a steel inner core made by and referencing the industrial history of the workers at Bord na Mona, Bonanno’s “shelter” involved the gathering and collecting of 4,000 year old bogwood from the peat lands. The collected bogwood was integrated as a textural and graphic outer wall for the work. A stream from the neighbouring wetlands flows through Bonanno’s structure into the centre. The energy and life generated by the sound of water as it enters, flows through and descends to a underground stream establishes links with the surrounding ecosystems of the peat lands. With sound as an animating element, entering into the inner space, and a series of found stones and boulders within.
Alfio Bonanno’s eight metre high Bogwood Tower references the oldest archaeological site from the Megalithic era in Ireland less than a mile away. In Bonanno’s own words, “One of my earlier environmental sculptures from 1982, Granite Environment incorporated stones from ancient burial grounds in an area undergoing redevelopment in Denmark where they were found. I see the present Irish work being made here in County Offaly as a continuity of this earlier work, in that both reference archaeology and our human links to ancient culture. This piece is an homage to our ancestors and the physical layered landscape of peat, clay and stone they lived upon.” Entering into Bonanno’s "From Earth to Sky", the landscape surrounds seen through the light sensitive walls of bogwood create dramatic visual contrasts, while the circular ceiling of the structure remains an open sky vault. With the sound of moving water as it enters the heart of the structure, and moving skyscape above, Bonanno’s structure is a celebration of the long-standing and eternal cycle of exchange between culture of nature and humanity.
John K. Grande (writer in residence 2010)
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13th International Peat Congress Arts Programme
The 13th International Peat Congress will take place in Tullamore, Co. Offaly from 9-15 June 2008 with a theme of After Wise Use-the Future of the Peatlands. The Congress will be a forward-looking event showcasing state of the art research on all aspects of the peatlands and its unique culture. 600 delegates from 45 countries will participate in a weeklong conference exploring environmental, ecological, archaeological and cultural issues centred on our peatland heritage. Contemporary art and culture has formed an important dimension of past conferences and Sculpture in the Parklands, who have been actively involved in environmental and ecological issues through its Artist-in-Residence Programme, will host the arts events for the 2008 Congress.Sculpture in the Parklands will present environmental, video, sound, light and performance programmes by leading Irish and international artists as part of the Congress programme. Events will take place at a variety of venues including the new Tullamore Court Hotel Conference Centre, Offaly County Council buildings, Bord na Mona buildings and at Sculpture in the Parklands. Arts Programme events will be a feature over a three week period spanning the duration of the conference and allowing for extensive community participation. Please visit www.ipcireland2008.com/arts.html
Patrick Dougherty – Artist-in Residence at Sculpture in the Parklands
Internationally acclaimed environmental artist Patrick Dougherty will create a site-specific sculpture over a three-week residency period (May 25-June 15) at Sculpture in the Parklands. Our local environment will inspire the sculptural installation and natural materials harvested from the area will be used in its creation. Patrick states, “ I intend to build a walk through work which embodies momentum and the forces of nature. The sculpture will rise above the grove of Alder trees and will include hallways and swirling chambers. This will be one of my largest works to date.” The artwork will involve the help of 6 full-time local artists as well as community volunteers and the use of over 10 ton of willow. The site will be open to the public and provides an opportunity for the community to experience the creativity and energy of this world-renowned artist. Patrick's Website is located at www.stickwork.net or his pages on this site can be seen by clicking here.
Sculpture in the Parklands Commissions- 2007
During 2007, Sculpture in the Parklands commissioned artists Grace Weir, Martina Galvin and composer Adele O’Dwyer to create new works in video, digital, light and sound that are inspired by the rich environmental, ecological and industrial heritage of Lough Boora. The commissioned artworks will be premiered during the week of the Congress for both participating delegates and community members. Grace Weir is interested in exploring the particular atmosphere of the parklands and creating an interactive immersive “notebook” based on her findings. The project walks the line “between the points where facts are generated and where reason is transcended by rational means.” Adele O’Dwyer’s original composition for quartet and un-tuned percussion is entitled “Black is the Earth” and is inspired by “the long history of the peatlands-it’s extensive change over time and the cyclical nature of a process that spans thousands of years.” The 30-minute work will be performed at the “Arts Night” for delegates and invited guests and for community members in Lough Boora. Martina Galvin will create a site-specific installation at Sculpture in the Parklands. Martina states, “I am drawn to the water areas, cuts in the bogs like large drawings. I intend to create work that accompanies the beauty of the environment and weather.”
National Award for Sculpture in the Parklands at Lough Boora
Sculpture in the Parklands was presented with the prestigious Best Art/Sculpture Award 2007 at the Local Government, City and Council Awards (LAMA) ceremony held in Dublin on Saturday night. The awards gala dinner took place at the Burlington Hotel and was hosted by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan. Minister Dick Roche presented the Best Art/Sculpture Award 2007 to Kevin O’Dwyer on behalf of Sculpture in the Parklands at Lough Boora.
The Local Government, City & Council awards were created to honour exemplary projects within the community; they seek to generate recognition of the efforts, accomplishments, and positive contributions of the individuals, companies and local government authorities for their outstanding commitment. The judging process for the LAMA awards is an integral part of the event. LAMA has selected individuals to serve as judges who have distinguished themselves in their field and who demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and vision.
Kevin O’Dwyer was joined on stage by Tom Egan of Bord na Mona who has partnered this project since the Lough Boora International Sculpture Symposium in 2002. Acting County Manager Frank Heslin and Arts Officer Sinead O’Reilly were part of the County Offaly delegation who joined in the celebration.
O’Dwyer said: This is another great tribute to the many artists, Bord na Mona employees and sponsors who have supported this project over the past 5 years. We will continue to develop the programme with exciting new artwork and the construction of a Visitor’s Pavilion in the coming year.
Sculpture in the Parklands won the prestigious Business2Arts Award in 2003 for its collaboration with Bord na Mona. The artist in residency programme is funded through the generous support of the Arts Council, Offaly County Council, Bord na Mona and West Offaly Partnership.
For further information please visit our website at www.sculptureintheparklands.com or Kevin O’Dwyer at 087 696 3779.
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