Artist Alva rises to the challenge

A stunning new sculpture by Carlingford-based artist Alva Gallagher has been unveiled in the Sharp Building in Dublin's docklands, writes Margaret Roddy

The unveiling of Alva Gallagher's sculpture

Alva Gallagher's sculpture

Alva's sculpture

thumbnail: The unveiling of Alva Gallagher's sculpture
thumbnail: Alva Gallagher's sculpture
thumbnail: Alva's sculpture
The Argus

Carlingford-based artist Alva Gallagher had no problem rising to the challenge when she won a commission to create a piece of art for the new Sharp Building in Dublin.

Her stunning glass sculpture 'Rise' was unveiled at the landmark building in Dublin's Docklands recently.

Alva worked with G&S Stainless Services, from Ballybinaby, Louth, when she was selected for the commission after an open call was made to Irish and international artists to create an artwork for the space.

The brief to the artists was to create an original and innovative sculptural installation in response to the unique environment, architecture, historic and cultural references associated with the new building and its location off Hogan Place in Dublin's South Docklands.

'Rise' is a double-height glass sculpture that is visible from both the interior and exterior of The Sharp Building and can be seen by office staff, local viewers and commuters in the Docklands Area.

It features her trademark glass bubbles which appear to float in the foyer of the building.

Alva commented: 'I am so honoured to be the selected artist for The Sharp Building commission and to have my work interwoven into this stunning new landmark building in Dublin's urban landscape. I am thrilled to have worked along side the Mc Garrell Reilly team and G&S Stainless Services Ltd in Louth and to now see my piece 'Rise' ascending within the unique contemporary aesthetic of the Sharp Building as a modern sculptural portrait to signify the evolving future of the city that the Sharp Building exudes.'

An award- winning Irish sculptor, Alva Gallagher works from her studio on the shores of Carlingford Lough, creating work inspired by the sea.

She combines glass with metal to create works which mirror the moods of the sea,from crashing waves to gentle ripples. The fruits of the sea, oysters and their pearls, are also a recurring motif.

The Killybegs native fell in love with glass while studying at NCAD, and won a scholarship award at the Pilchuck School of Glass in Seattle, USA, where she further developed her technique to create distinctive pieces which have seen her win numerous awards.

Alva has exhibited extensively in Ireland, and throughout Europe and China, and the United States.

Recent highlights include the Royal Society of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London; CAST at The Wayne Art Institute Philadelphia; The Traver Gallery Seattle, USA; and The Saatchi Gallery, London.

Alva's piece 'Breath', comprising hand blown glass balls of 'frozen breath' which appear to float above a lake, was named the best Large Work of Distinction at the Sculpture in Context 2018 exhibition in the Botanic Gardens, Dublin. Her work was featured in the Open 18 Sculpture exhibition in the FE McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge, and she exhibits regularly with the North Louth Artists.

She has also won a number of public commissions and her work appears in national and international Collections, including The OPW, The National Museum of Ireland Collins Barracks, BMW and in the iconic 'Gherkin' building in the city of London.

Responding to the unveiling of 'Rise', Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts stated: 'We are delighted to have worked with Alva and the McGarrell Reilly Group on this project. This beautiful new commission continues McGarrell Reilly's tradition of incorporating artwork into a new building during its construction phase. 'Rise' is magnificent and those working, living and commuting in the Docklands will be able to experience the glass sculpture as they pass the Sharp Building.'