THE magnificent creations of three caring communities based in Co Kilkenny will be on display to the world during the Arts Festival.
The people from the L’Arche and Camphill Communities in Callan and Kingsriver in Ennisnag will mount the unique work from their combined Sculpture Project in the grounds of the latter group in Ennisnag from Friday until the end of the Arts Festival.
“Some of the pieces are amazing, and they are all the work of the lads,” explained Kingsriver CEO Pat Phelan, who has been busy preparing the interior and exterior display areas for the 50-plus pieces that will be on show.
Spanish artist Saturio Alonso, whose work includes the limestone bust of St Fiach outside the Bank of Ireland on Parliament Street, works with the people from the three communities each Friday. The works in the exhibition are the fruits of their labours.
“Visitors will be amazed by some of the pieces,” Pat Phelan reckoned. “We felt there was no better time to show off the work than during Arts Week, which depicts the image of genuine creativity, which is what this work is.”
Some of the creations are small enough to be mounted on the walls of the Sculpture Studio at Ennisnag, but others, like The Bird hewn from a huge piece of Irish oak by Anthony Fitzpatrick from Castlecomer could weight up to a ton. This piece stands nearly six feet tall.
During the past few weeks the Kingsriver group built four concrete plinths on the lawn in front of their workshop, and the larger pieces will be erected here. The rest of the exhibition, including screen prints and mosaics, will be on show in the nearby Sculpture Studio.
Guided and advised
Saturio Alonso guided and advised the people during the planning of the work, but the community members completed the pieces themselves. Polly Donnellan was the supervisor/facilitator on the crafts section of the project.
As amatter of interest, Anthony Fitzpatrick worked on an off for nearly a year on his particular piece.
“Let’s just say the exhibition is a celebration of the lads work,” was Mr Phelan’s reply when asked why the work was going on show now. “It deserves to be brought to the attention of a wide audience.”
In the past the three groups combined to create a number of one off pieces, including an ornate Bell Tower, for the Contemplative Garden at the nearby Integritas Centre.
The Kingsriver Community, which in the past produced high-quality furniture and furnishings, will use the opportunity to hold a clear-out sale of end-of-the-line pieces, including tables and chairs.
“Again this is all the work of the lads here,” said the Kingsriver CEO.