Council to commission €550k public art trail for Cork city centre

'The trail will be thematically linked by Cork City’s heritage and should provide an impactful city centre attraction'
Council to commission €550k public art trail for Cork city centre

The GPO on Oliver Plunkett St, Cork, is among the five locations chosen for the artworks, which are to be installed by the end of December 2022. Picture: Denis Minihane

Cork City Council is set to commission a €550,000 project for a trail of five public artworks in the city centre.

The artworks are set to be chosen by next May, with all five to be installed by the end of December 2022.

The council is now seeking to award a contract to a “suitably experienced” organisation or individual to manage the commissioning and delivery of the artworks.

The commissioned works will be permanent or semi-permanent sculptural artworks in a variety of media, such as 3D sculpture, lighting, 2D wall-based or digital.

“The trail will be thematically linked by Cork City’s heritage and should provide an impactful city centre attraction,” said the council.

The project has come about from the Fáilte Ireland urban animation scheme, which aims to encourage footfall and attract visitors to the city centre.

The scheme also aims to reimagine and reinvigorate public spaces with innovative projects, as well as enhancing the “sense of place” for visitors.

Five locations

The five locations chosen for the artworks are the Exchange Building on Princes St, the GPO on Oliver Plunkett St, the Coal Quay, Cook St, and Carey’s Lane.

In the case of the GPO, the council said it expects a digital mapping projection on the facade of the building.

Under the heading of 'artistic brief', the council said it wants to create “high-impact public artworks that play with the fabric of the city centre urban setting”.

“The resulting public art trail will provide visitors and residents of the city with an experience that is arresting, intriguing, and playful,” it said.

“A must-visit immersive experience that will animate the city streets and that can be experienced in daylight and after dark with points of interest for all demographics in a manner that is also authentic to the heritage of the city.” 

The council said it is open to world-class artworks from local, national, and international artists.

The contract for a project co-ordinator for the initiative has a value of €50,000. The council said it is seeking an individual or organisation that has excellent knowledge and experience of commissioning in similar contexts, and an expertise in contemporary sculptural and 3D-based art practices.

The tender closes for submissions in the middle of December, with Cork City Council expecting the project co-ordinator to begin work in January.

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