THE HYBRID LOVE SEAT [16 BRONZE ARTWORKS BY LOCAL TEENAGERS]
Please excuse the quality of the photographs but I did not have a suitable lens with me but I do plan to return with something more suitable within the next few weeks.
Walsh’s sculptural interventions are located in publicly used spaces and are negotiated through the participation of various constituencies or communities. Her paper describes and analyses the practices involved in producing ‘The Hybrid Love Seat’ (2008), a 40-metre long site-specific sculpture, situated at a tram stop in a working class area of Dublin.
The project activated a range of local groups including most significantly young people from the area who produced the 16 featured bronze artworks that grace the structure.
In order to equip those children with the skills and self-belief required to become ‘artists’ Walsh instigated an innovative set of creative and educational processes. She set up a mentoring system between the young people and volunteer students at her place of employment, the National College of Art and Design Postgraduate students were also employed as paid artist assistants. The involvement of youth workers and local residents was vital in ensuring that the project adhered to a model of good practice.
Walsh fundraised towards meeting the workshop costs and fabrication of the sculptures. She reflects on the collaboration and dialogue required to secure both local ownership of the built environment and the engagement of art students with society outside the academy.
Louise Walsh is a lecturer in Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Particularly interested in developing artwork through dialogue, process based, and collaborative as well as educational practices, Walsh’s sculptural interventions are often located in publicly used spaces or contexts, negotiated through the participation of various constituencies or communities. Past projects include:‘The Hybrid Love Seat ‘2008, a 40 metre long sculpture, situated at Tram stop, Dublin. Includes bronze sculptures done by local teenagers on a linked project. Circuit, Integrated Public Artworks 2001 situated around the entrance of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. An installation in public walkway Pier 4A, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport, London, 1994. ‘Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker, 1992, Belfast.
Current projects: A participatory public art project with staff to be sited around the Emergency Department in James Hospital, Dublin. A public artwork and installation, commemorating the women workers of the city’s shirt factory industry, Derry NI.