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Supporting the Arts in the City

Dublin Docklands Light Commission

After a successful funding application to Failte Ireland under their Destination Towns Capital Investment Programme Dublin City Council is delighted to announce the Dublin Docklands Light Commission which seeks designs for a light installation to be located on City Quay on the south bank of the River Liffey in the Dublin Docklands. The proposed light installation is intended to be a long-term addition to the Docklands and should be designed to have a minimum life span of 20 years with routine maintenance.

This invitation is open to artists (including architects) as individuals or teams and the competition is being organised on an open call two stage basis. Fees will be payable to short-listed artists or teams for the further development of their initial proposals.

Brief for Artists 

1. Introduction 
2. Dublin Docklands   
3. Locations 
4. Technical Information 
5. Finance 
6. Time Scale 
7. Selection Process 
8. Briefing  
9. Selection Criteria 
10. Selection Panel 
11. Queries 
12. Closing Date for Submissions 
13. Submissions 
14. General Conditions 
15. Terms and Conditions 
16. GDPR Compliance  
17. Images of site
18. FAQ / Responses to Queries
19. Appendix 1: City Quay Location 

1. Introduction  
Dublin City Council wishes to commission a light installation for the Dublin Docklands. This invitation is open to artists (including architects) as individuals or teams and the competition is being organised on an open call two stage basis. Fees will be payable to short-listed artists for the further development of their initial proposals.   

Dublin Docklands is full of potential inspiration and artists are invited to absorb themselves in the area. The commissioners are open to ideas which creatively add to Dublin Docklands and encourage artists to express themselves through their proposals. This brief is intentionally open and the commissioners wish to be surprised by the originality of ideas combined with feasibility of proposals. This commission is open to Irish and international artists.   

2. Dublin Docklands      
Dublin Docklands is a distinct area in Dublin which links the city and the port. The Liffey acts as an artery through the area as it widens on its route to the sea. Dublin Port is the largest port in the country. As industrialisation evolved in the second half of the twentieth century so has the nature of the area. Parts of the Docklands retains its residential character such as North Wall, East Wall, Ringsend and Pearse Street. Other areas in the Docklands have been totally transformed into office and new residential apartment developments, including many corporate headquarters and the so called ‘Silicon Docks’. Cultural infrastructure includes the 3 Arena, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, EPIC (Irish Emigration Museum) as well as heritage structures and public art throughout the area. The unifying characteristic of the docklands is its waterways which include the rivers Liffey, Tolka and Dodder as well as the Royal and Grand Canals.  

3.  Location  
Dublin City Council has selected City Quay as the proposed location for the light installation: For detailed information on this location including site map and image please see Appendix 1

4.  Technical Information  
The primary intention of this commission is to enliven the Docklands through the commissioning of a light installation that is intended to add interest to the area. While originality of concept is important it is essential that artists focus on the technical feasibility of their proposals. These include but are not limited to the following:   

The proposed light installation is intended to be a long-term addition to the Docklands and should be designed to have a minimum life span of 20 years with routine maintenance. 

Electricity Supply: There is access to nearby electricity supply at the location.  Connecting to the electricity supply is a matter of detail for Stage 2 of this competitive process.    

Health and Safety:  Proposals should consider common sense health and safety issues such as sharp or dangerous points or edges, the ‘climbability’ of the proposed installation, danger of electricity, etc.  

Maintenance:  Proposals should be designed to facilitate ease of maintenance.   

5. Finance  
The value of the commission including VAT and taxes is €125,000.  Please see Terms and Conditions   

6. Time Scale  
The selected proposal will have to be developed, fabricated and installed by 30th June 2022. 

Commissioning Process and Selection 

7. Selection Process  
This commission is organised on a two stage open competition. Up to five proposals will be short-listed for development in Stage 2. A fee of €1,500 will be paid to short-listed artists for further development of their proposal.  

Stage 1 
The first stage invites submissions which outline the proposed commission and how it will be created and brought to the public. Artists and teams will also be required to provide biographies of key team members and examples of previous work. Further detail of submissions requirements is outlined below.   

Stage 2 
Short-listed artists and teams will be invited to undertake further research and development of their proposals and fees will be paid for this work. Artists or teams selected for Stage 2 can be asked to specifically address certain ideas or issues in their proposals. This stage of development is primarily focused on refining the artistic proposal but also to demonstrate that the commission is feasible in terms of development and presentation, project management, technical and financial detail, as well as long-term maintenance.   

8. Briefing  
A briefing meeting took place online on Wednesday 1st September at 1pm which included presentations as well as a question and answer session. The briefing is now available to watch below.  

9. Selection Criteria  
Please carefully consider the criteria below in making your proposal. Each proposal will be evaluated against these criteria and it is important that these criteria are addressed.   

  • Artistic quality and originality of the proposal  
  • Technical feasibility and maintenance issues 
  • Financial analysis 
  • Capacity of the artist or team to manage and deliver the project within the proposed time frame and within budget 
  • Track record and potential of the artist or team   

10. Selection Panel  
An initial selection process will be undertaken at Stage 1 by public art specialists with extensive experience in assessing artists’ proposals and of permanent art installations. These specialists will select a long-list of proposals from the first stage submissions. This longlist will then be considered by a selection panel who will shortlist up to five proposals for further research and development. The selection panel will include but will not necessarily be limited to the following; representatives of Dublin Docklands, City Arts Office, Fáilte Ireland, elected representatives, and community as well as external art expertise.  

11. Queries 
Artists or teams are welcome to submit queries to the Public Art Officer. Contact The closing date for queries is 15th of September at 12pm.  

12. Closing Date for Submissions 
The closing date for Stage 1 proposals is Wednesday 29th September, 2021 at 4.00 p.m.  Late submissions will not be accepted. 

Submitting Proposals for Stage 1 

13. Submissions 
Proposals may only be submitted online and uploaded to the Dublin City Council Arts Office website at   Please note that the maximum file size for each PDF is 25 MB.   

Artists or teams should complete the online registration form plus provide the following information in three separate PDFs.  

  • Registration Form 
  • Contact details including: name, postal address, email address and phone number of the artist or team leader.  
  • Title of Proposal 
  • Summary Description: A 500 word outline of your project to be entered into the online form.      
  • Proposal in PDF format to be no longer than four sides of A4 pages using Calibri 12 point font size. This PDF must include text, images and visuals. 
    The proposal should particularly focus on the following:  
  • Artistic concept and intentions 
  • Context / Choice of location 
  • Technical issues, including fabrication, installation  
  • Summary of maintenance requirements  
  • Proposed outline budget which should include where relevant:  
  • Artist’s/team member fees 
  • Production manager’s fees (where relevant) 
  • Development costs 
  • Fabrication, transport and installation  
  • Insurances, engineers / experts reports, and other related costs 
  • Contingency at 5%    
  • Support Material in PDF format:  Maximum of five examples of previous relevant work to be uploaded in one PDF.  
  • CV(s) or Biographies in PDF format. Summary biographies of team members and CVs (no longer than 3 pages per C.V.) to include key members of the team if applicable. These CVs and Biographies should be uploaded in one PDF  



14.  General Conditions  
Submissions may only be made online.  Emailed submissions will not be accepted. 

Late submissions will not be accepted. 

Feedback will not be provided at Stage 1 due to the nature of the Open Competition. 

The selection panel, whose decision is final, has the right to clarify any issue which may arise in the course of selection.  

Artists may be asked to supply the names and contact details of referees as part of the selection process. 

Dublin City Council reserves the right not to award commissions and, in this instance, reserves the right to pursue other selection processes.  

Attendance at the Briefing Meeting which is to be filmed, is taken as agreement to be included in the film either intentionally or incidentally.    

15. Terms and Conditions 
Commissioned artists or teams will agree and sign a contract between Dublin City Council before commencing the public art commission. 

Teams who are awarded commissions will have to nominate one person who represents the team.  

The successful Artist/Team will be required to have the following insurances prior to contract signing and for the duration of the commission. Insurances must state that the policies are valid in the Republic of Ireland.  

Public Liability with an indemnity to Dublin City Council insurance cover of €6.5 million for any one occurrence with an indemnity to Dublin City Council, project partners etc.  

Employers Liability with an indemnity to Dublin City Council of €13 million for any one occurrence where employees are engaged to work on the commission, project partners etc.  

The proposed commission and development process must comply with Health and Safety legislation. The successful submission will be subject to Health and Safety checks. 

Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection: Artists or teams involving interaction with children, young people and/or vulnerable adults as part of their commissions will be required to follow national policy and legislation and where applicable undergo training in this area, as per national requirements.   

The appointed artist or team will have to supply an up to date tax clearance certificate or access number prior to signing of contracts and for the duration of the commission.   

Applicants should note that all commissions awarded are VAT inclusive, (whether VAT liability lies with the artist or with Dublin City Council as commissioner).  

Non-resident artists from EU and non-EU countries must be aware of any tax or VAT implications arising from the commission and ensure any costs arising from this are included in their proposed budget.  

Dublin City Council is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 1997, 2003. If you consider that any of the information supplied by you is either commercially sensitive or confidential in nature, this should be highlighted and the reasons for the sensitivity specified. In such cases, the relevant material will, in response to the FOI request, be examined in the light of the exemptions provided for in the Acts. 

16. GDPR Compliance 
The purpose for processing the data you provide is for the selection of a new light installation for Dublin Docklands. The information you provide will be accessed by staff of Dublin City Arts Office and invited external specialists and may be shared with relevant Dublin City Council staff. Your information will be retained for 6 years if successful and 1 year if unsuccessful with your application. This process is being undertaken in accordance with the Arts Act 2003. 

If you do not furnish the personal data requested, Dublin City Council will not be able to process your application. You have the following rights, in certain circumstances and subject to applicable exemptions, in relation to your personal data: 

  • The right to access the personal data that we hold about you, together with other information about our processing of that personal data 
  • The right to require us to rectify any inaccuracies in your personal data. 
  • The right to require us to erase your personal data. 
  • The right to request that we no longer process your personal data for particular purposes. 
  • The right to object to our use of your personal data or the way in which we process it. 

Please note that to help protect your privacy; we take steps to verify your identity before granting access to personal data. If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please submit a request to our Data Protection Officer outlining the specific details of the request: Email: Tel: 01 2223775. All valid requests will be processed without undue delay and in any event within one month of receipt of the request. This period may be extended by up to two further months where necessary. 

17. Images of the site for the Dublin Docklands Light Commission
The size of the area between the paving and the cobblestones which has the seats at either end is 11 metres long and 3.15 metres wide. 




18.  FAQ / Responses to Queries
Responses to Queries raised regarding the Dublin Docklands Light Installation

Height of the light installation
The proposed light installation should be no higher than the public lighting. The lighting columns are four metres with the light at about 5m above ground level.

Footprint for the installation
The area proscribed by the cobblestones in the photo attached is 11metres x 3.15 metres. The footprint of the proposed installation has to stay within this area and consideration will be given to removal of benches, etc. during Stage 2 when more detailed designs are required of short-listed artists.

Foundations, Weight Restrictions and Utilities
Due to the proximity to the river and the quay wall in particular the loading would be classified as low to moderate. The quay wall is classified as a national monument, so any minimal impact to the wall and the Campshire would be the intention. See drawings of utilities below.

Access to Water and Light
Access to electricity will be made available. There is no decision on water.

No PSDP has been appointed at this stage. This is a matter for Stage 2 of the competition.

CAD Drawing
A CAD drawing of the location is not available for the location. What is required at this stage is a clear indication of the location and orientation of the proposed installation. Photomontage or other visual representations are important.

Drawings of water mains and fibre ducts are below.

19. Appendix 1: City Quay Location 
Location advantages:

Good viewing point and background.
Activation of this area of the quays is beneficial.
Natural Clearing in the existing trees.
Physical break in Flood Wall occurs at this location.
Pedestrian path provision to be maintained Design to be reviewed.