Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring with one of their previous artworks.

Artwork for the people of Cork

Dromina-based artists Liam Lavery and Eithne Ring are to create an artwork to honour the community spirit shown during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Liam and Eithne, a husband and wife team, have been collaborating on public art for the past 20 years and have been commissioned by Cork County Council to make the new artwork.

Their work has developed from small low-relief wall panels, using cast aluminium as a medium, through to large scale public commissions combining a variety of different materials from cast bronze to wood, enamelled copper, glass, stone and stainless steel.

One of their largest commissions commemorates the victims and survivors of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, located at the Lusitania memorial on the Old Head of Kinsale. Their Aoife and Strongbow seat sculpture in Waterford city also garnered acclaim.

Liam and Eithne said: “The idea behind our artwork stems from the continuing great effort that the community has taken to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, that has changed our lives in so many ways. One of the main aspects of this effort was delivering physical, emotional and psychological support to all people cocooning and in need of help as a result of isolation and reduction in everyday services.

“This community effort and cooperation contributes greatly to the struggle against this cruel and insidious virus that still lurks everywhere in the shadows. We hope that our artwork will reflect this great communal spirit which we all share,” they added.

The art commission was initiated by former mayor of Cork Cllr Ian Doyle, who witnessed the effort made by individuals and community organisations in a spirit of collaboration.

The current Mayor of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said: “The designs for this artwork also recognise the efforts made by health professionals and the various voluntary and statutory bodies who continue to work tirelessly for the common good.”

The artwork will be located by the public library in Charleville.

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey said: “Former mayor Cllr Ian Doyle is a longstanding supporter of the arts and, among his many duties as an elected member, sits on the Council’s Arts, Culture and Languages Strategic Policy Committee.

“I congratulate him on his vision in suggesting a public art commission as an appropriate way of marking community co-operation in this difficult time. Artists have the ability to make us feel and share, through their creativity, some ideas and concepts that can be difficult to articulate.”