independent

Monday 14 October 2019

New sculpture for Sligo Institute

Local artist, Brian Halpin, Ballintogher, displays his 'Salmon of Knowledge' sculpture, commissioned by Sligo Institute of Technology
Local artist, Brian Halpin, Ballintogher, displays his 'Salmon of Knowledge' sculpture, commissioned by Sligo Institute of Technology

The countys rich environmental, cultural, historical and mythological heritage is to be captured in a magnificent new sculpture commissioned by the Sligo Inst...

The county’s rich environmental, cultural, historical and mythological heritage is to be captured in a magnificent new sculpture commissioned by the Sligo Institute of Technology.

Local artist, Brian Halpin, Ballintogher, Sligo, is close to completing the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ sculpture which will be located on the main plaza at the Institute.

The design reflects the theme of an ancient legend in an educational setting. It is based on the legend of the Salmon of Knowledge and shows a leaping salmon in tones of copper and silver steel.

The sculpture will be constructed of a steel frame on steel supports, finished in a combination of copper and stainless steel plates representing fish scales. The base will be a shallow mound of rounded stones. The piece will be 3.6m high and will be floodlit at night.

In December 2000, the Institute employed Artscope, arts education activities managers, to co-ordinate the process of commissioning and installing a sculpture on the main plaza of the campus. Artscope comprises Caroline Wynne and Sally Maidment, who is a prizewinning graduate of the Institute’s Fine Arts courses. The sculpture has been commissioned under the Per Cent for Art Scheme, under the auspices of the Department of Education and Science.

A two-stage open competition was advertised nationally by Artscope. In Stage One, applicants submitted preliminary drawings and a written proposal. Applicants were shortlisted in Stage Two and asked to provide a model or mock-up of their design. The submissions were ‘blind’ and the names of the applicants were not known during the design selection process.

Applicants were given a very broad brief on which to base their design. The aim of the sculpture was to enhance the visual environment of the Institute and make a powerful statement at the entrance of the core values promoted within the Institute.

The brief drew attention to the Institute’s Mission Statement and to the history of the Sligo area. Artists were encouraged to incorporate elements of Sligo’s environmental, cultural, historical and mythological heritage in their project. The winning design, which was chosen in March 2001 and formally commissioned in May of last year, was submitted by local artist, Brian Halpin.

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