The attractiveness of Waterford’s Quays is to be further enhanced with the addition of a landmark, public art-work at Grattan Quay.
The eight-metre high, chain link piece, approved at Monday night’s City Council meeting, incorporates a number of different images, including a 17th Century Tall Ship on top.
The sculpture, designed to celebrate the city’s rich maritime and industrial heritage, aims to visually enhance Grattan Quay itself and add to the area’s cultural heritage. It is bound to attract the eye of all those entering the city from the north side.
The piece, costing €60,000, is being funded under the City Council’s Percent for Art Programme with a contribution from Diageo who are located on Grattan Quay. It was selected following extensive consultation with the artist, Denis O’Connor, who has previously worked on a number of public art pieces in both Ireland and Britain.
Director of Services Lar Power said the artist’s vision was that the piece would “challenge the viewer but also make a symbolic link with the area’s history”.
He said the idea of the chain links emerging from the ground and forming a river line suggested a type of renaissance for the city in terms of celebrating its rich maritime history. He said the three-dimensional item was designed to be virtually maintenance free.
Cllr Cha O’Neill said the structure would be illuminated at night and would be “a fantastic feature” on the riverside.
Cllr Pat Hayes paid tribute to Denis O’Connor while Cllr Jack Walsh suggested that a plaque be erected on the site, outlining the historical context of the piece.
The new sculpture replaces the initial proposal put before the Council 12 months ago by the same artist: a 20-feet high stainless steel barstool which dumbfounded Councillors when first presented to them.
Said Mayor Mary Roche: “It’s not costing the Council a penny, which is obviously fantastic. In my mind, it’s a very impressive and altogether more appropriate sculpture for the location in question and should make quite an impact upon those visiting our city.”