1994–5 Island, British Embassy


“The day that Island was completed I saw two men leaning over the bridge deep in conversation. My friend caught their words as they discussed it. Anna Livia Plurabelle they said. Excited, he came over to me. Finnegan’s Wake he said. More recently I rediscovered those passages which I had forgotten my father reading to us as children (words he loved to read because he so enjoyed imitating Joyce’s voice) and found 500 names of rivers embedded in their text. I had never understood the words but remembered the sounds of them as he read them to me again. Had they subliminally crept into the work or were they inherent in the place, the place that is Dublin and the meaning of the word that is Dublin (they tell me ) is black stone.

‘The thoughts these Dubliners brought to the work were the best response I could have wished for. Had they not been Irish or had they not been in Dublin, the work could not have sparked off this response. I felt I had tuned into the place and that the work had begun a life of its own. ” from Stills from Sculpture ISBN 0 9520365 1 7

Island reveals itself whilst walking along the path from the gatehouse on the Merrion Road to the entrance of the British Embassy across a moat. It is a work in three parts along a path: island, submerged ellipse and boulder. The path runs for 21 metres. Island has dimensions of 0.5 x 3.6 x 4.8 m whilst Ellipse is 0.5 x 3 x 1.5 m and Boulder is 0.6 x 3 x 1.8 m.

With architects Allies and Morrison, client Overseas Estates Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and commissioning agency Public Art Commissions Agency with Jenny Haughton of Artworking.
Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation

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  • Extract from Stills from Sculpture, Island 1994-1995 Dublin.