Cllr Colette Finn.

No funds for sculpture repair

A sculpture on the Wilton Road Roundabout cannot be repaired until funding is available to do so.

Calls were recently made for Cork City Council to work with Bishopstown Tidy Towns in restoring the sculpture by John Burke on the roundabout. The call came from Green Party Cllr Colette Finn, however she has been told that there is no budget available to repair it.

Adrienne Rodgers, who heads up the Community, Culture and Placemaking Directorate in City Hall said: “Cork City Council has three John Burke Sculptures, all of which need renovation and repair. We have, on a previous occasion, sought quotations for repair of the three John Burke pieces but unfortunately there was no budget in place.

“John Burke is an important artist for the city, and his work should be maintained. The piece on Wilton Roundabout has needed repair for a long time and, should a budget be available, then I would recommend getting it repaired.”

Ms Rodgers said that John Burke was instrumental in defining sculptural practice in Ireland during the 1970s. He studied sculpture at the Crawford School of Art in Cork and the Royal Academy, London. He went on to travel for a year in North Africa and Europe before returning to Ireland where he set up a studio and workshop in Blarney.

Ms Rodgers continued: “Mr Burke supported himself by teaching two days a week at the Crawford School of Art and counted among his pupils Eilis O’Connell, Vivienne Roche, Maud Cotter and Jim Buckley. Working in welded steel, Burke juxtaposed simple geometric shapes to form abstract compositions, and employed colour to soften and disguise unwanted elements of the metal.

“Though best known for his large hard-edged thin plates of steel, Burke also made box constructions and smaller intimate pieces. A member of Aosdána since 1981, his work is included in numerous public and private collections.”

She also said that as with a number of other works and installations across the city there is currently no process or budget identified for the maintenance of our public art assets.