Curator’s Notes: Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director
Little did we think, when we conceived this initiative with IPUT, this time last year that the digital world would be so central to our experience of art during this time of home quarantine.
Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. In this case, using an app on your phone or tablet device we have conjured up six sculptures by the renowned Eilis O’Connell RHA to appear in the park setting.
Wilton Park is a charming park of a couple of acres situated on the north side of the Grand Canal opposite the Mespil Hotel. Though owned by IPUT they make it available on a daily basis as a public facility for local residents and workers in the area. It’s a short cut to major office buildings, a garden for apartment dwellers and a picnic spot for lunchtime workers.
There is also another artistic presence here too, Eileen Gray. Let me explain, Eileen Gray, our foremost early twentieth century modernist designer, conceived and built a villa on the Cote d’Azur at Roquebrune in the late 1920’s. Known as E.1027 this architectural gem had fallen into near ruin and over the past six years under the supervision of the Foundation Cap Moderne it has been painstakingly restored. In 2017, the Foundation were anxious to accentuate the Irish association and I was invited to present an Irish artist on the terraces surrounding the house. Eilis O’Connell accepted the invitation and conceived a new suite of work in honour of Eileen Gray for the project. Five of these burnished stainless steel pieces are presented here in Wilton Park. They specifically reference Gray’s screens – room dividers – for which she had gained a considerable reputation in Paris. They are totemic and playful and can be seen on the east side of the park.
On the west side is an earlier sculpture from 2008, Circuit, it is an enormous curved linear structure, measuring nearly 4m cubed, made from epoxy resin, glass cloth, sand and paint. It is a physical squiggle in space, feeling natural and organic, and bristling with energy.
When the 2km restriction is lifted do come and visit this amazing event in Wilton Park. It is ideal for maintaining social distance, its outside in the fresh air, the work is spaced many meters apart and you enjoy it in the confines of your own phone.
AN IPUT & RHA INITIATIVE AT WILTON PARK
RHA and IPUT are delighted to announce the launch of Dublin’s first augmented reality exhibition on 27 February, in Wilton Park, Dublin 2. This initiative is part of IPUT’s placemaking strategy to further activate Wilton Park.
Eilis O’Connell RHA, one of our foremost sculptors has agreed to partake in this experimental format. Six of her recent works will be sited in Wilton Park and free to the public for viewing through the medium of augmented reality.
Augmented reality is an interactive experience that allows one to place an object in a specific location, virtually via a smart phone or tablet. To access the experience, please download and install the WPAR app, available in the App Store and Google Play and follow the instructions on screen.
Come and explore these pieces as they interact with the environment of this beautiful natural oasis in the heart of the city.