July 9 will see the official launch of a new public artwork by artist Joe Neeson at Pearse Street, Ballina. The sculpture, five metres in height, is believed to be the first artwork of its kind in the country constructed from stainless steel, copper, bronze and a special polyurethane resin.
Entitled ‘Flow’, the piece was commissioned by Mayo County Council’s Arts Office as part of its ongoing public-art commissioning programme, funded via the Government’s Per Cent For Art Scheme and by Ballina Town Council.
The original concept for ‘Flow’ was a celebration of the local salmon, acknowledging the town’s status as Salmon Capital of Ireland. The sculpture consists of two vertical forms based on the form of diving salmon. The translucent quality of the resin material and the blue/green colour also add to the theme of movement through water.
The artist Joe Neeson, who hails from Co Cork, explained his rationale behind his piece: “I feel that too many public artworks are chosen in Ireland on the basis that they literally represent an object or historic fact associated with a place. For this commission I proposed a design that is maybe not so obvious but still conveys elements of the flowing form of the salmon”
The sculpture takes on a different appearance at nighttime, as the artist has included internal low-energy LED lights that come on automatically at dusk each evening to give the artwork a soft glow.
Coinciding with the launch, a special exhibition will be on display in the library documenting the process of creating the sculpture, including the special casting process of the resin, which took place in Birmingham.
‘Flow’ will be officially launched by new Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Michael Burke. All are very welcome to attend the event, which takes place on Friday, July 9, at 1pm.