Quadrangle

Artist Name(s) Alan Meredith
Artwork title Quadrangle
Context/Background
Newpark Comprehensive school is a state school, founded in 1972 under the patronage of the Church of Ireland. It is a pluralist community embracing in terms of social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity. Newpark aims to develop the academic, intellectual, practical, artistic and sporting abilities and skills of its students. It encourages its students to develop their capacity to deal with analytical and logical processes while fostering a delight and enjoyment in artistic and spiritual activities.
In 2013 the Department of Education and Skills gave the go ahead for the construction of a new school building and refurbishment of the Belfort House costing €12.5m. Funding from the percent for art scheme was approved as part of the construction budget. This has transformed the campus and created a great environment for learning and teaching for students and staff and all who use the campus.
Description

The proposed layout of a quadrangle by the school’s architect created an open and spacious centre-piece. The intention was to reinforce this space by developing the fourth side, as it was the only side with no buildings. A line of timber benches were set against the concrete planters to create a thickening of social space, one which would belong primarily to the students. 

A spatial relationship is created between the wooden structures and the school building with its pitched roofs, while a pattern of enclosing sculptural elements become less intense towards the street, as students move out towards the wider world. 

Since humans began to form social communities they have built structures to enable the activities of daily life. The new structures, like a fallen tree, offer a gathering point for the communal interactions of Newpark Comprehensive. Extending up into the sky, the Irish oak columns are firmly anchored to the ground, bolstered by a wide stance. The compositional elements of the structures are expressed, while an awareness of how they were built, is also preserved imbuing it with a sense of honesty and material presence. The solid oak benches retain the feeling of having once been part of a tree but are refined to reveal the presence of human hand; symbolizing how ideas now carved and cast began with thoughts of a primordial forest settlement. 

Mediation

A book, documenting the whole process, including texts by the curator, teachers and Emmett Scanlon (Architect/Critic) is currently being finalized. 

Biographies

Alan Meredith was born in 1991 in Laois, Ireland. Alan’s work to date straddles the boundaries of contemporary craft, sculpture and architecture and has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally. Alan began working with wood from an early age and his ongoing work is informed by a sympathetic understanding of material. 

His studio’s creative approach is tied to the desire to make meaningful and appropriate interventions within a given context, based on this informed understanding of material and the means by which it may be manipulated. 

Alan has exhibited at Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, University College Dublin, Sculpture in Context, RDS National Crafts Competition, Electric Picnic Music and Arts Festival, Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, Konsfack Stockholm, Tent London, UCCA Beijing and SoFine Art editions Dublin. Awards include Irish Woodturners Guild president’s prize and the Irish American Cultural Institute, Muriel Gahan Scholarship. 

Graduating with a Masters Degree in Architecture from University College Dublin in September 2015, Alan currently works out of his studio in County Laois, imagining and creating one-of-a-kind and speculative pieces for both public and private clients. 

Commission Type Schools/Colleges
Commissioner Name Newpark Comprehensive School
Commissioning process Limited Competition
Project commission dates December 1, 2013 - February 28, 2015
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts and education
Funded By Department of Education and Skills
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Project commission start date 01/12/2013
Project commission end date 28/02/2015
Location Blackrock, Dublin
County Dublin
Town Blackrock
Content contributor(s) Alan Meredith, Derek Lowry, Sally O'Leary
Public engagement

Student engagement - studio visits and workshops

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Curated by Aisling Prior.

Alan Meredith Studio with input from -Jim Mansfield (Kavanagh Mansfield and Partners) Structural Engineer -School Architect - Martin McKenna (Smith and Kennedy Architects)
Main Contractor - Duggan Brothers 

Photographer - Ste Murray www.ste.ie 

Opportunities

plus

Art Commission, Artfelt (Sheffield Children's Hospital), UK

17 May 2017

Closes 2nd June Artfelt is seeking expressions of interest for the new Haematology and Oncology Unit at Sheffield Children's Hospital. The state...More..

more opportunities

Focus On

plus

Traces

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.

more about this article