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Sculpture in the Arboretum
Farmleigh Symposium 2005
Farmleigh International Sculpture Symposium 2005
Organised by Sculpture in Context
7 July 2005 to 28 July 2005
Three Irish and three international artists created new works based on the theme of Biodiversity, from a range of materials including stone, metal and wood. Visitors to Farmleigh House and
Gardens could to see how the six sculptors worked with their chosen materials. The works remain in the gardens of Farmleigh House, which is open to the public Thursdays to Sundays in the summer months.
Pilar Aldana Mendez (Colombia)
Marco Dessardo (Italy)
Kenneth Drew (Ireland)
James Gannon (Ireland)
Beatrice Stewart (Ireland)
John Weidman (US)
Details of Participating Artists and Works
Pilar Aldana Mendez (Colombia)
Arch of Nature
Dublin Granite quarried at the Blue Light
Quarry by James Murphy & Son
120cm x 80cm x 120cm
Pilar Aldana Mendez, Colombian sculptor, has been established in Barcelona, Spain, since 1985. Her forms of expression are small format and the large-scale sculptures, as well as installations. She works with glass, stone, iron and wood.
The sculpture is made of two identical blocks of Irish Granite placed in complementary positions. The dimensions of each stone is 1.2m x 0.8m x 0.5m
The pieces will be cut with diamond a cutting disk placed on a pneumatic angle grinder. Cut parts are taken away with pneumatic and hand tools.The surfaces will be softened with tools adapted to a small pneumatic hammer. The last step is to polish some of the surfaces with polishing disks and by hand.
My structure will be done with branches linked with red tie wraps. The branches will be linked around a rope.
Sometimes for the particular form the branches will be linked around a welded structure. The branches will be painted yellow. The tie wraps will stay uncut to give the effect of strange new growing elements.
This tube or line will be crossing through the air, jumping in and out of the water. It come out and run as a root, a branch or a strange caterpillar. It uses natural and artificial materials to express a deep diversity and the influence of human beings on nature.
Ken Drew (Ireland)
Kenneth Drew is a practising sculptor with a studio in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. He is also a sculpture tutor at Connolly House, City of Dublin VEC. He works in a wide range of materials and scales from studio pieces to larger outdoor forms.
He exhibits on a regular basis and works on private commissions for medium and larger scale sculptural forms. He has work in the Art for the State Collection and private collections in the US, Netherlands, Kuwait, UK Australia and throughout Ireland.
This sculpture is a large open ring form pinned together with a helix like bolt. Carved from four sections of a mature Beech tree almost 200 years old from within the grounds of Farmleigh House.
The inspiration for this form comes from the wood itself. Despite our perception of the solid nature of beech wood it is actually composed of simple microscopic organic building blocks, it is just a collection of tiny hollow strand
This form is a search for an expression of the dual nature of plants and beech in particular. Strength and solidity versus the sinuous fragility of any living organism. The working title
for this sculpture is Beech Twist.
James Gannon (Ireland)
Irish Limestone (quarried at Lecarrow, County Roscommon, by James Murphy & Sons, Sandyford)
200cm x 77cm x 55cm
"Hybrid Vigour" is an agricultural term describing the crossing of two different pure breeds or varieties, the offspring of which can be more vigorous than either parent. In order to achieve this you need a large undiluted gene pool of differentiated stock from which to select the parents.
This piece was inspired by my grandfather Seamus Mac Raighnaill, Gardener, Irish language teacher, dancing master, musician, actor, and revolutionary, who lived in the environs of Castleknock.
Beatrice Stewart M.A. (Ireland)
52 x 90 x 23cms each
I enjoy the challenge of working with different media. I jump from painting to photography from clay, to concrete. Somehow the work itself decides -what medium will best express its developing ideas.
The cows now living in Ireland are interbred using modern farming techniques from many different parts of the world. The aim is to develop commercially profitable qualities by cross and selective breeding processes. This had led to the wide range of animal produce, which we all can buy in our local supermarkets at very reasonable prices.
Further development of these breeding processes has led to genetic engineering and cloning. Cloning - as with every new scientific development - can be used for both good and bad. We want to preserve nature as it is; yet also want access to cheap food.
Who is going to make the decisions?
Here in Farmleigh since 2001 there is an attempt to preserve the original form of the Kerry cow and to counter the reduction in the wide variety of breeds because of the current demands of commercial farming. In this case modern farming techniques are being used for the preservation of these beautiful and historic pedigree animals.
John M. Weidman (USA)
Remembering (not to forget)
During the 6 years we lived in St.John's Newfoundland (pronounced: Nu-fin-LAND), we lived off-base from Pepperell AFB which is located on the most easterly point of the North American Continent, on the Avalon Peninsula, NFLD. Most of our food came from the Base Commissary,
where we also got our..........milk. However, the MILK was not really from a live cow, but made up from 55-gallon drums of white goo shipped up from the 'States'.
The machine that made it this 'milk' concoction was affectionately called the 'mechanical cow'. Now, that leads me into what I have in mind for a statement relating to the results of allowing the degradation and extinction of various species still holding on to a place on this planet. Albeit; what I wish to portray will not gush forth with liquid, I would like to make a visual statement about what would happen if we want such things (as COWS) when they were neglected and 'allowed to disappear' from our wonderful planet EARTH.