Artist Name(s) Maree Hensey & Mark Ryan
Artwork title Artrew
Context/Background Athy Town Council, RESPOND! Housing and Kildare County Council in a joint venture are involved in the new Ardrew Housing Development in Athy. In February 2009, a Public Art Working Group of seven members was established to scope the appropriate nature of the Per Cent for Art artwork for the project. The group agreed that the underlying goal of the artwork/ project should be to integrate and build relationships between the three groups of new residents that each organisation represents.

Following a short listing of proposals, two presentations were made to the Working Group and the commission was awarded to the artists Maree Hensey and Mark Ryan.


The artists began working with the community in Ardrew in February 2010. The project has created an identity for Ardrew through workshops with children and currently with adults. A crest was created and a float for the Athy St.Patrick’s Day parade. The project has been both naturally evolving and carefully mapped by the whole project team. The artists, as part of their own personal work hope to create a handcrafted artist’s book which will be a limited edition.


A crest and float were created for the Athy St.Patrick's parade

The artist's spoke about the project in an interview on Kildare's KFM radio

The project was documented on the Kildare County Council website:


Maree Hensey
Maree was born in Dublin in 1962. She studied at Galashiels College of Textiles, Scotland, graduating in 1991 and returned to Dublin in 1993 to work with John Rocha on a collection of drawings for printed textiles. Maree has successfully completed a number of public art commissions in the Per Cent for Art Scheme. She has extensive community based experience and has recently completed an artist's residency in Carnew Day Care Centre, Co. Wicklow as part of the Arts in Health programme and is currently involved in Creativity in the Classroom.

She has been commissioned by the OPW to produce artwork for textiles and furniture for the Irish embassies in Belfast, Rome, Lisbon, Copenhagen and The Hague. By collaborating with cutting edge architectural practices Maree has been instrumental in evolving contemporary styles for a number of site specific projects.
She is a visiting lecturer at the National College of Art and Design Dublin at the faculty of Art and Design. Maree currently lives and works in Dublin and Carlow with her husband Mark Ryan and children Ella and Conor.

Mark Ryan
Born Dublin 1962. Educated in Dublin and graduated from the National College of Art and Design in 1986. The starting point for Ryan's works are formed by his connection with and response to the surrounds of the immediate environment. He draws in 3 dimensions with materials that allow an immediacy of action, so as not to lose the spontaneity of the initial response and to keep the idea alive and fresh. Within his work there is a recurring formula which is the relationship between balance rhythm and surface. The balance and rhythm between the components of the piece are not always directional but free form, the balance beautifully awkward. He tends to create works that have calligraphic qualities. In some cases aspects are left unsaid, the sentences left uncompleted.

In particular his large scale works concentrate on the capturing volume and space with the lightest touch and the balancing of positive and negative spaces.
Mark has successfully completed a number of Public Art Commissions in the Per Cent for Art Scheme. He exhibits regularly in the RHA, Sculpture in Context and Eigse Carlow. His work is included in many national and international collections.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Kildare County Council, RESPOND! housing and Athy Town Council
Commissioning process Limited to artists on Kildare Arts Service Public Art Panel
Project commission dates February 1, 2010 - August 1, 2010
Artform Other,Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Kildare County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 01/02/2010
Project commission end date 01/08/2010
Location Ardrew, Athy, Co.Kildare
County Kildare
Town Athy
Content contributor(s) Rina Whyte
Relationship to project Public Art Co ordinator
Public engagement

New residents of the Housing Estate

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Public Art Co ordinator, Social Workers etc



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Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.

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