Powerful artworks to energise Swan Park

Final preparations are underway for a series of powerful artworks to be installed in Swan Park, Buncrana, which will celebrate the emergence of spring and the area’s rich industrial heritage.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 3:24 pm
Swan Park in Buncrana.
Swan Park in Buncrana.

A much-loved public space since the Victorian times, Swan Park was bequeathed to the people of Buncrana and its visitors by Harry Swan, whose family ran a successful milling business in the town from 1868 until the early 1980s. Swan Mills, through its associated Buncrana Electricity Supply Company, also provided clean, hydro-generated electricity to the town from 1905 to 1954.

The ‘Art in the Park: Energy’ group art exhibition – facilitated by Artlink Fort Dunree and funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Donegal County Council – will see the works of four Irish-based artists featured in Swan Park. These include a water-world globe sculpture by Kevin Harkin, an interactive ‘Fairy Village’ by Mark Cullen, a twisting ribbon-style metal sculpture echoing the history of textiles at Swan Mill by Rosalind Lowry and a windmill sculpture & dynamo by John McCarron which will power a light show paying homage to Harry Swan.

The ‘Art in the Park: Energy’ group exhibition is part of Artlink Fort Dunree’s ‘New Rhythm 2022’ programme of public events aimed at making art in the area more visible and physically accessible to people & visitors alike as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

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The water-world globe sculpture by Kevin Harkin

Project Co-ordinator Rebecca Strain from the Artlink collective said: “We’re delighted to be showcasing the stunning ‘Art in the Park: Energy’ group art exhibition in Swan Park. Indeed, in February, the park will just be emerging from deep winter and this wonderful outdoor group show will quietly awaken our senses incorporating, sound and movement.

“Importantly, as we will also be emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, we want to help nurture a new rhythm – a new way of working, a new routine, which is informed by the Celtic Agrarian Calendar to reconnect us with natural rhythms, the seasons, the tides, the place where we are.

“Our 2022 programme is therefore intended to extend beyond Fort Dunree to encompass the town of Buncrana. Our aim is to make art in the area more visible and more physically accessible to enhance the cultural experience of local people and visitors alike, and to complement the exceptional natural features and rich resources of Swan Park and surrounding area. This year Artlink will also be generating a range of appropriately remunerated opportunities for our locally-based and visiting artists, to refresh and realise their creativity, in a diverse natural environment that invites imaginative, open-minded responses.”

Martha McCulloch, Artlink Co-ordinator added: “We’re also very keen to see people enjoying the outdoor resources around them and using the arts to enhance their experiences, thus encouraging the regeneration of their well-being and a sense of community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Indeed, all of the art pieces on show are for the whole family to observe, interact with and enjoy (and we’re urging people to take selfies with the artworks and share on social media!).”

Martha concluded: “I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to visit and admire the innovative and memorable art pieces exhibited in the ‘Art in the Park: Energy’ exhibition – which will also be sensitively woven into the stunningly beautiful landscape of Swan Park.”

The ‘Art in the Park: Energy’ inaugural group art exhibition will be showcased in Swan Park, Buncrana, from 8 February 2022 for a month. For further information visit www.artlink.ie email [email protected] or telephone 0838696513 / 0864532428.