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Ossary Bridge

Artists Concept

Our concept for the historic relief sculpture at Ossory Bridge is based on the history of this area, ranging from Early Neolithic Ireland to the present day, 1984.

The artwork is expressed in the form of relief sculpted concrete ‘walls’, the original purpose of which was to become an integral part of the abutment walls of the bridge, thus integrating the industrial structure required to support the bridge, into the local environment by designing an historic artwork, relevant to the area.

The first sculpture relief wall begins with a Neolithic ‘graphic’ design and continues through the transition of Ancient Ireland into the Norman period. This is particularly relevant to the South Kilkenny area as the seat of Norman power in Ireland.

The panels continue through the all-important Norman period and finishes as the Atomic symbol, relevant to modern times.

The overall basis to the design is firmly rooted in the Romanesque style as extant particularly in Jerpoint Abbey. This is where we, as students of the Waterford Art School, spent a lot of time studying our heritage and doing exercise drawings of the Abbey particularly the relief carvings. Indeed, this influence of Romanesque Norman sculptors can be traced to our work of this period, especially in the Ossory Bridge sculptures.
Work in Context

As artists we believe that public artworks, where possible, should be firmly based on relevant historic cultural motifs, and therefore closely relate to the local area where the artworks are sited. This is an important criterion which we believe our sculpture artwork for Ossory Bridge fulfils.

N.B. Included in the sculptured reliefs is a panel bearing an Ogham inscription.We had included this as part of our overall historical progression of images. Approximately half- way through the project the chief engineer sadly died suddenly. By coincidence, a family member was a professor of ancient Irish archaeology who composed a eulogy which we then carved into the Ogham panel




Stone cast panels fixed to the Buttress walls of Ossory Bridge depicting in symbolic form, the history of the South Kilkenny area from pre-historic times to the late Twentieth Century.






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