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‘Dublin Ships’ - Public Artwork Display 'LED' Along the Quays

12th February 2015

#DublinLEDShips - 'Dublin Ships' is the title given to a temporary public artwork commissioned as part of the Dublin City Public Art Programme that is currently running until July 2015.

The work by Cliona Harmey uses large LED screens located on the Scherzer Bridges at North Wall Quay close to the National Convention Centre.

Dublin Ships artwork is generated from live electronic signals which track the arrivals and departures of each ship in Dublin Port. The name of the ship is then transmitted in real-time to two large LED screens facing towards the city, and remains illuminated in black and white until the next ship either arrives in or leaves the port.

Afloat.'s Ferry News Correspondent, Jehan Ashmore, took recent photos of the LED screens on the bridge with the passing road quayside traffic below. At the time the screens boldly displayed the names of a pair of rival ferries currently operating services on the Dublin-Holyhead route.

The ferries were 'Ulysses' and 'Nordica' and all in LED technical glory! Ulysses is Irish Ferries 'flagship' on the Ireland-Wales link. On the adjoining screen was the 'Nordica', the Stena Line ferry which also operates on the Irish Sea 'central corridor' route.

However, such a display of the Nordica blazed in LED light will diminish to that just representing a visual image of the past!.. As the Stena Nordica (to give her full name) is to be replaced next month by 'Superfast X' as previously reported on

As 'Dublin Ships' has clearly demonstrated by bringing to life the movements of ships in Dublin Port. In addition by using this medium to create a strong visual and cultural link between the port and the city in full view of Dublin's citizens, commuters and pedestrians.

The work juxtaposes the speed of instantaneous data with the speed of movement of real entities in space. Dublin Ships highlights the meanings and poetic qualities of ship names, which include allusions to maritime trade, cargoes, historical figures and distant places.

Harmey's work combines sculpture, with live data from transport and communication infrastructure.

Recent work has harvested both open satellite and real-time airline information to create works that engage with notions of time and information space. Her sculptural works are concerned with spatial, broadcast and environmental phenomena (flight data, light, atmospheric pressure).

Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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