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Public art programme launched at Lough Lannagh

Show boat
Actor Steve Blount (left) during a performance of Tom Swift’s play ‘Across the Lough’ on Lough Lannagh last Friday afternoon. The play was staged as part of a weekend of events marking the launch of the Landmark Public Art Programme.?Pic: Ciara Moynihan

Public art programme launched at Lough Lannagh

Ciara Moynihan

Landmark, Mayo County Council’s new public art programme at Lough Lannagh, was launched last Friday, April 20, by Cllr Eugene McCormack, Mayor of Castlebar Town Council. Guest speaker was Patrick T Murphy, Director of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Also in attendance were Noel Kelly, CEO of Visual Artists Ireland; Cllr Austin Francis O’Malley, Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council; and Seamus Granahan, Director of Services for the Castlebar Area.
The Percent for Art Scheme was used to fund the programme, which consists of a collection of artwork commissions from a wide range of artists working in a number of art forms. It includes two permanent commissions, two temporary commissions, a residency project and two bursary programmes for emerging artists. The two permanent commissions are ‘Landscapes’, a bronze sculpture trail by Westport artist Elaine Griffin; and ‘On Sight’, viewing posts showing scenes filmed at the lake, by artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly.
Mr Murphy congratulated the artists on their achievements, pointing out that their works demonstrate how public art has ‘moved a long way from placing an object in a landscape’. He also thanked Mayo County Council, particularly Arts Officer Gaynor Seville and all in the Arts Office, for helping to make the Landmark project a reality.  
Cllr Eugene McCormack also praised all involved, pointing out that it was uplifting to be launching an art programme at a time when the arts community is so under pressure. Citing the example of the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar in particular, which has recently experienced funding cuts, he pointed out that ‘the large economic benefits [of the arts] are sometimes forgotten when funding is being allocated’.     
To mark the launch, several events took place at Lough Lannagh over the weekend, including performances on a boat of Tom Swift’s one-man play ‘Across the Lough’; an interactive performance involving light by the side of the lake and students from St Gerald’s College, Davitt College and members of the Mayo Concert Orchestra; and a performance of ‘Still Life in Red & Green’ a specially commissioned piece of music by composer Ian Wilson.

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