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Foley Street, Dublin 1

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Public Art Commissions - Archives

Dublin City Council has commissioned artists to create work across artforms as part of the Dublin City Public Art Programme. This archive provides information of some of these commissions.

For more information on Irish public art comissions, dating back nearly two decades, visit

Revisions by Julie Merriman

Revisions is the culmination of the year-long public art commission with Dublin City Council as part of the Dublin City Public Art Programme. During this time Merriman engaged with staff in the Housing, Architects, and Engineering Departments who draw and use drawings as part their everyday work. Merriman’s practice is focused on drawing and exploring its language and functions. In particular, she is interested in consulting archives as source material to consider the conventions of drawing used in construction and design, disrupting their functionality, and highlighting the aesthetic character contained within them.

Whilst her time with Dublin City Council allowed her to develop existing areas of interest and artistic focus, Merrima also developed new methods of creating work. After reviewing the Council’s archives she began using typewriter carbon film to produce her drawings. Pinning the film to her working surface, it acted as a filter through which drawings were produced, created ‘slippages’ and introduced the intrigue of the unknown to the process. 

These drawings, along with other work created during the commission were on public display in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. The exhibition ran from the 5th January to the 10th April 2016. A special publication, with contextualising essays by Dr Stephanie Straine and Marianne O'Kane Baol, was produced as part of the exhibition. For queries related to the publication please contact

Watch Julie talk about her show Revisions at The Hugh Lane to Art In Ireland /

The commission and exhibition is part of Interaction with the City, Strand 2 of the Dublin City Public Art Programme and is funded under the Per Cent for Art Scheme through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The Lost and Found Sound Assembly

March – May 2013

This commission by composer and musician George Higgs was to create a giant musical instrument or ‘Higgstrument’ made from materials taken from Dublin City Council’s Recycling Centres. George Higgs collected items from the recycling centre over several months, built the instrument, devised the music and then rehearsed and performed the music as The Lost and Found Sound Assembly.

The ensemble consisted of George Higgs, percussionist Sean Carpio and four student musicians from St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls (Cabra).


The Boys of Foley Street

As part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2012

The Boys of Foley Street

This immersive theatre experience took drama out of theatre and onto the streets and locations in the Foley Street area, such as a deserted car parked under a railway bridge, council flat, etc. The audience of two at a time was brought through an intimate experience and exploration of the decade spanning from 1971-1982.  Performances took place daily over three weeks of the Dublin Theatre Festival, adding up to the entire full house of a formal theatre. The Boys of Foley Street was cited by Susannah Clapp, Observer theatre reviewer, in her end-of-year roundup as being one of her top ten theatre experiences of 2012.

Anu Productions’ The Boys of Foley Street was the third part of a four-part drama cycle called Monto. This part chronicled the third regeneration of the area.

The Boys of Foley Street won The Erics Award for Best Theatrical Production 2012.


Things We Throw Away

4th – 5th July 2014

Things We Throw Away is a series of five short operas by Brian Irvine (music) and John McIlduff (text). These operas were performed as ‘pop up’ operas in locations around Dublin over two days. The performers sang live and were accompanied by a specially recorded soundtrack, performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and conducted by Fergus Sheil. Each of the five operas is inspired by the lives of real people in the city, and one involved a community choir.  The operas’ name is drawn from the inspiration for each opera, short moments in the city that would normally go unnoticed, or discarded items thrown away on the street. The idea is to capture the life and the poetry behind these almost inconsequential episodes.

The operas were so successful that they were restaged in April 2015.

Beyond Pebbledash

Beyond Pebbledash is an installation, book and engagement programme which explores how we design and plan for future living in the city. The project is a partnership between Dublin City Council, Redrawing Dublin and the National Museum of Ireland.

As part of the installation, the Public Art Manager devised an engagement programme which was awarded funding from the Arts Council.  This took place throughout the project with seminars, lectures, an ‘urban party’ and an extensive engagement programme for teenagers delivered by architects and artists. 

For more information contact :


Battle of Clontarf Video

Dublin City Public Art Programme has commissioned a seven-minute long composition which has been commissioned to pay tribute to the Battle of Clontarf which took place 1000 years ago on Good Friday, 23 April, 1014.

Composed by Sandie Purcell and performed on the Uillean Pipes by Mark Redmond, the arrangement follows the stages of the battle in five sections, evoking the events as they occurred – the tension between Brian Boru and Mael Mordha; the dischord of battle through to victory, driving Mael Mordha’s army into the sea; the lament to the tragedy of King Brian’s death; to the final movement, conveying the peace and harmony between the celtic chieftains and viking leaders following the Battle of Clontarf. 

This commission was supported by the Department of the Environment with funding under the Per Cent for Art Scheme. 

To download the Press Release, please click here.


Flood – An OPW and Dublin City Council Public Art Commission

Artists, Curators and Creative Producers were invited to make proposals for a Per Cent for Art commission relating to the Flood Defence Works on the River Dodder.

The indicator shows the small area of park known locally as the Jungle.

Below is a photo of The Jungle immediately post construction.

Flood Commission Symposium, Wood Quay Venue, Thursday 27th February 2014.


Flood briefing meeting: Ruairí Ó Cuív presentation from Dublin City Council Arts Office on Vimeo.


Flood briefing meeting: Dave Weston from Dublin City Council Arts Office on Vimeo.


May 2012

Travelogue is a celebration of the human drama played out on the public transport system in Dublin every day, and the behind-the-scenes complexity and commitment required to keep people moving.

To explore the small, undocumented tales of the daily commute, artist Theresa Nanigian embarked on a series of “residencies” across all service providers – Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann, Luas, taxis and dublinbikes – collecting travel stories and gathering data. The stories that emerged from this nine-month investigation were heartwarming, poignant and often hilarious. They were the quiet confessions told to taxi drivers from the back seat of the cab, stories of lost luggage and lost souls, small acts of charity and heroic gestures of empathy. Travelogue was a demonstration of the wit and humanity of the people of Dublin as they travel around the capital city.

Travelogue was posted across all forms of public transport during the first two weeks of May - on trains, trams and buses and at points where people board them. These are still available, for a short time, to view on the Travelogue website.  

You can view the Travelogue document here



The Touring Tama

July 10th - 17th 2013

The Touring Tama was an outdoor installation by Irish artist Miriam McConnon. For one week a huge cloth enveloped a tree in the centre of Merrion Square. The cloth, known as the Tama was made up of handkerchiefs and pieces of traditional lace that were collected by the artist from the people of Cyprus and Ireland. Measuring 550 sq meters, it had been sewn by the artist herself.

The installation formed part of the commemoration of Ireland's 2013 Presidency of the European Union. The cloth had been previously commissioned and exhibited as an outdoor installation at the ancient tree of St Solomoni at the UNESCO heritage site in Paphos, Cyprus in 2012 to celebrate Cyprus' Presidency of the EU. The tree, known as the hanky tree, is a place where people have visited for centuries to hang handkerchiefs in memory of loved ones who have passed away or who are ill. Tama is the Greek word for the handkerchiefs that are hung onto the tree.

The installation was less motivated by the symbolic meaning behind the wrapping and more by the aim of the artist to bring the ancient Cypriot custom of the hanky tree or wishing tree to Ireland and ultimately, it aimed to unite the two countries, Ireland and Cyprus, two islands, on opposite sides of Europe and to create a sense of solidarity between the people of both nations. Fittingly, those who visited the installation in Merrion Square were invited to hang handkerchiefs around the trunk of the tree. These handkerchiefs were then sewn on to the Tama by the artist after the end of the installation, allowing the cloth to grow even bigger in size.


Unstrung by Cecily Brennan

Autumn 2011
During the month of September, Unstrung by Cecily Brennan was on display to the public in Dublin City Centre.
Brennan's two minute looped video was installed onto the side of City Hall overlooking the public plaza and played for an hour each day. This was sponsored by Dublin City Council, the Goethe-Institut Irland and Taylor Galleries. Click here to watch the video.