From Wind and Water at the Upper Lake to the Tremor in O’Brien Centre for Science, we’ve all walked past them but never paid them any heed, other than snapping their photos when we first arrived at UCD as freshers to tell everyone we had made it here.
The sculptures that are dotted around campus are part of a carefully curated network of artistic installations called the UCD Sculpture Trail. This was originally developed by Ms Ruth Ferguson, Curator of UCD Newman House, and Dr Paula Murphy, UCD College of Art History and Cultural Policy.
The sculptures are the works of various locally and internationally renowned artists, such as Paddy Campbell (Wind and Water), Carolyn Mulholland (Tremor) and Jill Pitko (Joie de Vivre, outside UCD Sports Centre). An informative brochure and interactive map of all the sculptures is available on UCD Digital Library’s website. All sculptures have been photographed by Vincent Hoban.
Currently, UCD Digital Library has updated their collection of Hoban’s photographs, adding shots of Chroma (in O’Brien Centre for Science) and Bowl Piece (Newman Building) to name a few. There are over 200 multidimensional photographs in total of all sculptures available for viewing. Now, UCD Digital Library’s collection comprises of photographic documentations of sculptures that are not only present today on campus, but also of those that were around previously but not any longer.
A sculpture that would come to your mind quickly is Judgement, right outside the entrance of UCD Sutherland School of Law, of 2 men engaged in a deep conversation. Judgement is made out of bronze by Rowan Gillespie, a highly successful Irish sculptor, known especially for his figures dedicated to the people who were forced to emigrate during the Great Famine of the 19th century at the Liffey Quays. Judgement, made in 1991, represents an intellectual conversation on the Iraq War between two men. As with any piece of artwork, each of these sculptures has its own story to tell and is worth delving into. A wealth of information on all the sculptures is available on UCD Digital Library’s website and online brochure.
Given the campus closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the expansion of a digital collection of the sculptures is indeed timely – just stay at your gaff and view the sculptures on your laptop!
Mallika Venkatramani – Arts & Lifestyle Editor