Midlands Amenity Park

The Midlands Amenity Park is an exciting new development in the Westmeath, providing recreational space with walking trails and a featuring a turlough. This was very much a community venture and stands testament to what can be achieved by a dedicated group of people. I was delighted to be part of the project and worked as Artist in residence during the final two years of the process. My brief was to design sculptural pieces that could be created by Transition Year students from Moate Community School. Over two school years we developed artworks that would be suitable to be situated long term in the park. Our main focus during our workshops was the construction and decoration of concrete panels to be used to support benches around the park. Drawing inspiration from the language of megalithic art we used mosaic to create stylised motifs and the students who constructed each panel, formulated the design and put their names along the side in Ogam script. The final stage took place on site when the benches were put in position. With a group of the students selected from both years we built a unique, sculpture bird-hide overlooking the wetlands with viewing holes at various heights. Using railway sleepers for the main structure, this has an undulating wave like form and features decorative elements in metal clad holes that echo the megalithic influence. We built a large triple spiral or triskle sculpture near the playground, also from the sleepers which is an interactive piece, suitable for kids to play on. The park contains Art in the Park gardens which display sculptures, created by students from schools around the midlands. The Art in the Park competition is open to all second level students and we hope to facilitate the creation of many sculptures over the years to come, encouraging interaction with the park and public art.

Client Name
Midlands Amenity Park at Dun na Si
  • Birdhide

    Side view of bird-hide showing detail of willow weaving and railway sleepers

    Birdhide
  • Bird-hide on opening day

    This sculptural bird-hide was built to my design by the TY students from Moate Community School along with their wood-work teacher Mr James Hatton and a few helpers. The finishing touches were done by a team of volunteers just before the opening day. A great joint effort!

    Bird-hide on opening day
  • Seat construction

    The guys putting a bench in position.

    Seat construction
  • Construction work

    The students hard at work

    Construction work
  • Construction

    Construction of triple spiral sculpture

    Construction
  • Centre of triple spiral

    This is very popular with the kids in the park

    Centre of triple spiral
  • Spiral sculpture on open day

    Spiral sculpture on open day