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#waterland – Minister Deenihan launched 'Water Land', an exhibition of sculpture and craft presented by Waterways Ireland Tuesday 5th November 2013—Jimmy Deenihan, T.D, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, with Dawn Livingstone, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland, launched 'Water Land', a free exhibition of sculpture and crafted objects on the waters of Dublin's Grand Canal Basin.

This exhibition brings together the heritage of the inland waterways with new work by contemporary artists and craft makers. Curated by Sarah Ross, it will feature a selection of Ireland's most well known and recognised artists and craftspeople, those resident in the Design Tower, Pearse Street together with makers invited from across Ireland and abroad. Launching the exhibition in the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre, Minister Deenihan said, "The diversity of materials and approaches that the artists have used in their work speaks to the fascination we all have with water and how we interact with it in our daily lives.

The Design Tower have put on a wonderful exhibition on this compelling theme and Waterways Ireland and the Crafts Council deserve great credit for their support." Dawn Livingstone, Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland, also highlighted the huge variety of stimulation that the artists drew from the waterways; from the recycling of waterway infrastructure (the lock gates) by Emmet Kane, through to the swimmers beautifully captured by the work of Alan Ardiff. "Each has brought their own view to this most unique resource, it is truly inspirational." Amongst others, the exhibition will feature renowned jewellery designer, Alan Ardiff who reminds us of the recent summer heatwave with his diving bronze figure inspired by the daredevil swimmers in Grand Canal Basin. Similarly, artist and sculptor, Elizabeth O'Kane, and bespoke jewellery designers, Da Capo, have produced exquisite work inspired by the movement and fluidity of water.

Referencing values associated with the use of water are fashion designer, Róisín Gartland whose work references the abuses in the fashion industry for the sake of western beauty and adornment, and ceramic artist, Henry Pim, who reminds us of the depletion of water as a resource. Despite the geographic divide between Connemara-based basketmaker, Joe Hogan and the Swedish textile designer, Liz Nilsson, both makers' work is inspired by the natural materials sourced from the water's edge.

This is further complemented by a series of sculptural forms by Kildare's internationally renowned woodturner, Emmet Kane, created from reclaimed canal gates made from the hardwood called 'Ekki'. Waterways Ireland, one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British Irish Agreement in 1999, has responsibility for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways principally for recreational purposes.

Due to both its historical significance and current value the element of water was seen as a very relevant theme to promote the work of over 20 artists and makers at the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre.

'Water Land' is supported by Waterways Ireland and further funded by the Crafts Council of Ireland. Exhibition opening times for visitors are from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am–6pm and entry is free of charge.

Published in Inland Waterways

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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