Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kilkenny Public Sculpture

On a visit to Kilkenny city recently I came across this public sculpture in Parliament Street. You just suddenly come upon it, unannounced, and you have to look at it twice to make sure that it's not just normal street furniture. A most striking head, made of stone with a simple bronze band around it. It looks so solid and permanent and confident of its own importance. A nice position, I thought, in front of a bank.

The sculpture is called Cainneach (Saint Canice - patron of Kilkenny) and it was made by Spanish sculptor Saturio Alonso in1999.

"This sculpture is made of Kilkenny limestone and Bronze. Kilkenny is named after Saint Canice who was born in 514 AD. The sculpture is a symbol of Celtic mythology and the head is the symbol of spiritually" - Information on the County Council website. Any sentence which includes "symbol" "Celtic mythology" and "spirituality" makes my eyes glaze over and my dander rise if both can happen together. Sculpture should be about solididy not something vague called spirituality.

The sculptor, Saturio Alonso, was born in Spain in 1954 and currently lives in Ireland. His background is as a painter and graphic designer. He was a member of the group El Cubri in Spain until his move to Ireland in 1980. He is a founder member of Artcore, a mentor in KCAT, Callan Co. Kilkenny and his work can be found in various public spaces around Ireland and in private and public collections in Europe and America.

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