Thursday 22 August 2019

Sculpture event not standing still as art lovers flash cash

Ergo

Mark Dunne has moved from the Westbury to Mount Juliet Estate
Mark Dunne has moved from the Westbury to Mount Juliet Estate

The latest sign that there is plenty of cash still swirling around the Irish economy was the success of the recent Art in the Garden series, the largest sculpture exhibition held in Ireland, according to its organisers.

Such was the success of the event - held at two different venues in Wicklow and Belfast - that organisers Gormleys Art Auctions are now considering expanding it to other venues in Dublin next year.

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Art In The Garden featured a large collection of contemporary sculptures, as well as 14 pieces from the Dali Universe in Switzerland, and paintings, drawings and original screenprints by world-renowned names and top Irish artists.

The event, held on successive weekends at Russborough House and at the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast, saw rooms devoted to Andy Warhol and street artist Banksy as well as a Modern Masters Collection in the Ailsa Suite featuring Picasso, Miro and Lucien Freud.

More than 12,000 people attended the event and 53 works of sculpture were sold, with a number of pieces achieving prices of more than €25,000.

"This was a fantastic collaboration. At any one time at the weekends there were over 300 people in attendance from all over Ireland," said Gormleys Fine Art managing director Oliver Gormley.

"In addition to the success of the two-week Culloden exhibition, average visitor numbers were up by 17,000 at Russborough House over the three full weeks of Art In The Garden.

"We are already preparing our plans for 2019 and considering a number of venues in the Dublin area."

An Post delivers change by stamping out gas-guzzlers

Not every Irish state company and agency has got the message that a red letter day is coming for renewable energy but An Post is certainly delivering a good example - replacing its carbon-belching fleet with sustainable vehicles.

While others across the state sector - as previously noted by Ergo - are continuing to buy carbon-emitting fleets despite the climate crisis, An Post is doing its bit to stamp them out.

In recent months it ran a trial in Dublin with electric tricycles for its parcel delivery staff and its success has led it to issue a new tender to purchase a fleet of the clean energy vehicles. There is of course an entirely other conversation to be had about the environmental sustainability of the online shopping boom that is driving An Post revenues but we'll leave that for another day.

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