Public Art Commissions

Cappa, Kilrush, Co. Clare

Through a village renewal scheme, Cappa Community Group and Clare County Council wish to commission a representational sculpture from a professional artist which celebrates an element / elements of Cappa’s history and which will be located in a prominent position on the village seafront.

Cappa Village, Kilrush
The designation of Kilrush as a Heritage town recognises its legacy as a landlord estate town with a rich maritime tradition. Cappa Pier was, and still is, the most important factor in the development of Kilrush. The oldest section near the shore was built in 1764. It has changed little since Samuel Lewis in 1837 described it as a pier of very solid construction protected by a sea-wall of great strength. It afforded great facility for landing passengers from the steam vessels which plied regularly between here and Limerick. The custom-house building near the quay was erected in 1806. The harbour was frequented by vessels trading in grain and other commodities. Its particular advantage arises from its depth of water, which admits vessels of the largest size.
Kilrush at the gateway to the Shannon peninsula is situated at the edge of the Shannon estuary and mid-way between the areas a large group of bottlenose dolphins are most frequently observed. Kilrush is at the centre of the rich and diverse coastal landscape of the West Clare Peninsula. It is set in an unforgettable seascape featuring the lordly River Shannon, the islands of Hogg and Scattery and the picturesque village of Cappa, which overlooks the famous Scattery Island.
This small island in the mouth of the Shannon, encapsulated the history of ecclesiastical Ireland. During the sixth century St. Senan, the patron saint of West Clare, founded a monastic establishment here which developed into collegiate church.
The island once housed over 141 people during 1841 and 1881. However due to social and economic decline the population of the island began to decrease rapidly from 1926 and has been uninhabited since 1978. This passed life on the island is echoed in the abandoned remains of the community on Scattery. A lighthouse, a street, old cottages and the church 'Teampall na Marbh' which hosts the graves of the people of Scattery, encapsulate the isolated life that was once led on Scattery. All can be seen from Cappa pier.

Village Renewal Scheme
Clare County Council is working with the Cappa Community to revitalise the harbour area / sea front of the village. The commissioned piece will be the focal point of this revitalisation which will see new paving, landscaping and lighting for the area. This work will take place under the Urban and Village Renewal under the National Development Plan and is co funded by the EU.

Context for the Commission
Proposals are invited from professional visual artists to submit
a) proposed ideas / sketches
b) maquettes
celebrating an element / elements of Cappa’s history in representational form.

Themes which might be considered for the commission include
a) Walking e.g. from a ship in the harbour or taking part in the local Sli na Slainte route
b) Currachs /Tufboats / Paddle Steamers
c) Docker pulling chains / crates / carrying bags
d) West Clare Railway
e) Effigies of Scattery Island
f) Effigy of St. Senan walking to the Scattery Island
g) Winkle Picker or Shells / Periwinkles
h) Mermaid
i) Indigenous birds / dolphins
j) Lighthouse
k) Masts


The budget for this project is €40,000.

This includes second stage artist fees if the commissioning body deems it necessary to seek further information from artists.
It also includes artist’s fees, documentation costs, travel, materials, transport, design, fabrication, installation costs, lighting, signage, insurance and VAT.

Artwork Specifications
Artworks in all media will be considered. Consideration will be given to maintenance and durability of proposed materials.

The artwork must be in place by September 30th, 2006 at the latest. Artists should indicate a proposed time scale for artwork.

Site Visit
A site visit to Cappa will take place on Friday, November 4th, 2005.

Artists should meet at the Lidl Carpark in Shannon at 10 am where they will be brought by bus to Cappa. The County Arts Officer and a representative from the Cappa Community Group will be in attendance to answer any questions.

Please inform the Arts Office at 065-6846267 or email: if you wish to attend at the site visit.

Artists should be able to demonstrate a professional standard of arts practice.

All applications should be marked Cappa VRS and sent to The Arts Office, County Library, Mill Road, Ennis, Co. Clare no later than Friday, November 18th, 2005.

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