From child’s drawing to spectacular sculpture
Last week saw the launch of Camlough Public Art ‘Con-Flux’ by artist Holger Lonze. The starting point for this concept was taken from a children’s drawing made during one of the initial workshops carried out by local artist Tracey McVerry. The idea follows the natural water cycle; a spectacular visual effect is created by the shaped and layered stainless steel mesh into the form of a cloud. The upper surface of the base is rippled bronze to give a running water effect. For the passing traffic, the mesh creates a moiré effect of the cloud during the daytime, while internal lighting creates a spectacular illumination of the cloud at night. A metal strip runs from the base and represents the Camlough River flowing out of Camlough Lake.
Chairperson Councillor Naomi Bailie said, “It’s great to get such an iconic and contemporary piece of public art in Camlough and one that visitors from right across the district and beyond can appreciate. It certainly has people interested and has been a topic of discussion now since its erection, which is exactly what art should be doing.
I'm particularly delighted that this unique piece captures and tells the story of the history of this part of our district, highlighting to locals and visitors alike, the intrinsic link between Camlough lake and the infamous linen trade."
The public art is part of The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, a Heritage Lottery Fund programme to conserve and enhance some of the region’s most treasured landscapes. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council are managing the £1.4 million programme. The scheme aims to engage people with the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and surrounding landscape.
Des Murphy, Chairperson of the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme said, “When I started this particular project about a year ago, I didn’t know much about art, but this process has really broadened my views. It’s great hearing people in Camlough talking about this public art. It has created conversation in the area because it’s significant and unique.”
Next week will see the launch of Alan Burke’s Flax Flower – an impressive six metre high stainless steel stem, with reflective blue petals. This art recognises the importance of the linen industry in the area, and its location is important as the pond was key to feeding the industry in Bessbrook.
This project was part-financed by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme managed by the SEUPB; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; and the International Fund for Ireland.