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Artists Bring New Perspective to Port & City

20th March 2017

#PortPerspectives - Artists commissioned to create a series of site-specific public artworks were announced by Dublin Port Campany. They were chosen in response to Dublin Port's new programme Port Perspectives and its relationship with the City.

New works by Sheelagh Broderick, Silvia Loeffler and AEMI & Cliona Harmey will be unveiled at sites and on structures within Dublin Port over the coming months.

The Port Perspectives is the latest development of Dublin Port’s arts commissioning series for 2017, aimed at strengthening the bond between Dublin Port and the City and bringing Dublin Port to new audiences through the arts.

An open call for proposals from Irish and international based artists attracted over 100 submissions from which the three projects were selected, as judged by a panel of experts drawn from the public arts commissioning, education and heritage arenas.

First is Sheelagh Broderick’s ‘Great Wall Walks’, which looks to create a link between Dublin Port Workers and Dublin Port Walkers, i.e. between those who work at the Port and those who use its environs for recreational purposes. Based at the new Seafarers’ Centre on Alexandra Road, international seafarers arriving at Dublin Port will be invited to collaborate with Sheelagh on creating a series of audio guides to their home towns and cities. The audio will be available to download and highlighted to walkers on the Great South Wall, encouraging local walkers to connect with the world of the international port worker.

Launching on May 1st, Sheelagh’s project brings an inclusive and international dimension to the series, celebrating multi-culturalism and social diversity at the heart of port life. An accompanying event will follow on International Seafarers’ Day (June 25th).

Meanwhile, the work of Silvia Loeffler will unfold in a number of phases during the summer. Silvia Loeffler’s ‘Transit Gateway: A Deep Mapping of Dublin Port’ will document the transitional changes in the shape of Dublin Port, from its medieval shoreline to modern day configuration. In collaboration with partners and the local community, Silvia will work for the next nine months on artistic cartography to show the changing connections of the city and how the port has acted as a gateway, creating a vital connection for the city with the wider world.

Her work will go on display in the Terminal 1 building at Dublin Port, and a seminar will be held each month to mirror the nine phases of the mapping process. The seminars will take place in the last week of each month at the LAB Gallery on Foley Street, Dublin 2 and places can be booked online through Eventbrite.

In September, audiences can look forward to AEMI & Cliona Harmey’s ‘port | river| city’. This project will research and co-curate a season of artist, experimental, and archive moving-image artworks that interrogate and reflect on ports and their environs. Their collaborative project comprises a series of cinematic screenings as well as site-specific installations across a number of strategically chosen locations in the city. With the use of a mobile field cinema, audiences can expect screenings from early September for a three-week period.

Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “We were overwhelmed by the response and calibre of projects submitted following our open call last September. Dublin Port is delighted to commission original new works from three exceptionally talented artists, whose projects bring the history, social fabric and industrial setting of Dublin Port to life in new ways – not just for those who work at Dublin Port, but for all who visit and especially for those who have yet to venture this far. We look forward to seeing the artists’ works evolve over the summer, and to deepening the dialogue about Dublin as a Port City.”

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts said: “With these three new artworks, Dublin Port’s considerable role developing Dublin will be reinterpreted and presented through arts, film and sound. They will provide a new layer of context to the complex themes of movement, migration, global links and local industry and how people relate to Ports today. The three projects were exceptionally well researched and reflect many years of artistic practice by those selected.”

This commissioning follows Port Life: Eugeen Van Mieghem, a new exhibition sponsored by Dublin Port Company at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane as part of Port Perspectives. The exhibition runs until June 11th and is supported by a programme of seminars, educational and outreach initiatives. Port Perspectives also includes an arts engagement programme curated by Declan McGonagle. A further strand of Port Perspectives is Dublin Port’s sponsorship of Jesse Jones, who will represent Ireland at the 57th International Venice Biennale; an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council.

Port Perspectives builds on previous arts commissions by Dublin Port Company, including Starboard Home with the National Concert Hall – a new song cycle of Irish music and spoken word inspired by Dublin Port, Dublin City and the River Liffey; Cliona Harmey’s “Dublin Ships” installation on the Scherzer Bridges in conjunction with Dublin City Council and the re-imagining of The Diving Bell on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

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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About Dublin Port 

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with the capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructures such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Dublin Port FAQ

Dublin was little more than a monastic settlement until the Norse invasion in the 8th and 9th centuries when they selected the Liffey Estuary as their point of entry to the country as it provided relatively easy access to the central plains of Ireland. Trading with England and Europe followed which required port facilities, so the development of Dublin Port is inextricably linked to the development of Dublin City, so it is fair to say the origins of the Port go back over one thousand years. As a result, the modern organisation Dublin Port has a long and remarkable history, dating back over 300 years from 1707.

The original Port of Dublin was situated upriver, a few miles from its current location near the modern Civic Offices at Wood Quay and close to Christchurch Cathedral. The Port remained close to that area until the new Custom House opened in the 1790s. In medieval times Dublin shipped cattle hides to Britain and the continent, and the returning ships carried wine, pottery and other goods.

510 acres. The modern Dublin Port is located either side of the River Liffey, out to its mouth. On the north side of the river, the central part (205 hectares or 510 acres) of the Port lies at the end of East Wall and North Wall, from Alexandra Quay.

Dublin Port Company is a State-owned commercial company responsible for operating and developing Dublin Port.

Dublin Port Company is a self-financing, and profitable private limited company wholly-owned by the State, whose business is to manage Dublin Port, Ireland's premier Port. Established as a corporate entity in 1997, Dublin Port Company is responsible for the management, control, operation and development of the Port.

Captain William Bligh (of Mutiny of the Bounty fame) was a visitor to Dublin in 1800, and his visit to the capital had a lasting effect on the Port. Bligh's study of the currents in Dublin Bay provided the basis for the construction of the North Wall. This undertaking led to the growth of Bull Island to its present size.

Yes. Dublin Port is the largest freight and passenger port in Ireland. It handles almost 50% of all trade in the Republic of Ireland.

All cargo handling activities being carried out by private sector companies operating in intensely competitive markets within the Port. Dublin Port Company provides world-class facilities, services, accommodation and lands in the harbour for ships, goods and passengers.

Eamonn O'Reilly is the Dublin Port Chief Executive.

Capt. Michael McKenna is the Dublin Port Harbour Master

In 2019, 1,949,229 people came through the Port.

In 2019, there were 158 cruise liner visits.

In 2019, 9.4 million gross tonnes of exports were handled by Dublin Port.

In 2019, there were 7,898 ship arrivals.

In 2019, there was a gross tonnage of 38.1 million.

In 2019, there were 559,506 tourist vehicles.

There were 98,897 lorries in 2019

Boats can navigate the River Liffey into Dublin by using the navigational guidelines. Find the guidelines on this page here.

VHF channel 12. Commercial vessels using Dublin Port or Dun Laoghaire Port typically have a qualified pilot or certified master with proven local knowledge on board. They "listen out" on VHF channel 12 when in Dublin Port's jurisdiction.

A Dublin Bay webcam showing the south of the Bay at Dun Laoghaire and a distant view of Dublin Port Shipping is here
Dublin Port is creating a distributed museum on its lands in Dublin City.
 A Liffey Tolka Project cycle and pedestrian way is the key to link the elements of this distributed museum together.  The distributed museum starts at the Diving Bell and, over the course of 6.3km, will give Dubliners a real sense of the City, the Port and the Bay.  For visitors, it will be a unique eye-opening stroll and vista through and alongside one of Europe’s busiest ports:  Diving Bell along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay over the Samuel Beckett Bridge, past the Scherzer Bridge and down the North Wall Quay campshire to Berth 18 - 1.2 km.   Liffey Tolka Project - Tree-lined pedestrian and cycle route between the River Liffey and the Tolka Estuary - 1.4 km with a 300-metre spur along Alexandra Road to The Pumphouse (to be completed by Q1 2021) and another 200 metres to The Flour Mill.   Tolka Estuary Greenway - Construction of Phase 1 (1.9 km) starts in December 2020 and will be completed by Spring 2022.  Phase 2 (1.3 km) will be delivered within the following five years.  The Pumphouse is a heritage zone being created as part of the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.  The first phase of 1.6 acres will be completed in early 2021 and will include historical port equipment and buildings and a large open space for exhibitions and performances.  It will be expanded in a subsequent phase to incorporate the Victorian Graving Dock No. 1 which will be excavated and revealed. 
 The largest component of the distributed museum will be The Flour Mill.  This involves the redevelopment of the former Odlums Flour Mill on Alexandra Road based on a masterplan completed by Grafton Architects to provide a mix of port operational uses, a National Maritime Archive, two 300 seat performance venues, working and studio spaces for artists and exhibition spaces.   The Flour Mill will be developed in stages over the remaining twenty years of Masterplan 2040 alongside major port infrastructure projects.

Source: Dublin Port Company ©Afloat 2020. 

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