The foundations were poured this week for the first of three major public art pieces set to be installed throughout the county.
A giant violin, appearing to be partially submerged in the ground, will be installed on a bank of the N5 by-pass next month.
Commissioned by the Public Art Committee of Longford County Council, the piece was funded by the ‘Percent for art’ funding scheme, with a budget of €63,000 set out for design, manufacturing, transport, site preparation, installation and all consequential expenditure.
The brief was hugely popular, and artists throughout the country and abroad made submissions but in the end, it was Cork-based artist Alex Pentek who took on the task.
“It’s a celebration of the musical heritage of Longford”, explains Arts Officer Fergus Kennedy.
Meanwhile, a second sculpture has been commissioned for the junction of St Michael’s Road and the Strokestown Road, administered on behalf of the Clúid Housing Association by the Council Arts Office with a €38,000 budget provided by Clúid. Fergus explains that the sculpture is an abstract piece of steel by Joe and Pat Walker, to be installed mid-summer this year. The abstract shape represents negative space between the letters ‘I’ and ‘F’ in the word ‘if’.
Fergus explains; “It refers to the possibilities created by the regeneration of that part of town.”
Finally, eight villages in Longford are set to benefit from the project, as a brief has been issued for sculptures in Ballymahon, Kenagh, Ardagh, Abbeylara, Granard, Newtownforbes, Drumlish and Aughnacliffe.
“We hope to establish a sculpture trail in Longford” Fergus explains. Costing €80,000, the final piece is the largest of the projects.
The brief for the final project can be viewed on the recently launched visuallongford.ie.