Thursday 27 July 2017

How long does it take to get a lightbulb changed?

The 'Shaft of Light' sculpture near the garda station.
The 'Shaft of Light' sculpture near the garda station.

I HAVE been set a task - a campaign to get a bulb changed in an iconic piece of art in Drogheda!

A Shaft of Light', created by Drogheda-born sculptor Ronan Halpin, now based on Achill Island, was installed as part of Louth Local Authorities public art programme at a site close to the garda station, over 10 years ago.

It's a fine piece of work and at the start was a real wonder.

Superbly lit, it was designed to show fibre optic displays of green, pink, blue, Orange and yellow.

But now it doesn't change colour and it appears there's no light coming from it at all.

I inspected it last week and there does appear to be a power source at the rear of it, so any chance it can be restored to its best, with flashing lights and all.

Ronan is one of the country's most acclaimed artists and was a teacher in the Ollies for a number of years. Indeed his work can be seen as you enter it, what appears to be a native American settlement to me. He was also commissioned by Jan Van Dijk, Architects to design and complete the internal balustrade at Ardee Castle in 1998 and has worked extensively here and abroad.

Ronan Halpin trained as a sculptor for six years, in the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and at Yale School of Art in the United States of America. He opened a studio in Drogheda and continued to work as a full-time artist for almost eight years, exhibiting widely both at home and abroad.

He headed off with the family in 1998 to Co Mayo and opens up his studio there for three months each summer. He now works in Bronze, Concrete and Corten steel.

Hillary Clinton, Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and former Taoiseach John Bruton all own pieces of his work.

So can we see the stars shine again for our star sculptor?

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