Ireland is a country with a reputation for warm welcomes, culture and creativity. This is reflected in our approach to decorating the Justus Lipsius building, the headquarters of the Council of the EU.
In the Atrium, Andrew Kearney’s interactive and innovative art piece, Skylum embodies Irish warmth and character while showcasing the innovation and developed technology of contemporary Ireland.
By means of a camera, artificial intelligence technology and ultrasonic directional speakers, each of the 2,000 daily visitors expected to walk through the Council Atrium will see their reactions reflected through light and sound as their movements are captured and played with, resulting in a unique piece of art. Over the course of the six months of Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, people will be welcomed by, and offered the opportunity to create their own story with, this inventive installation. The piece is ever-changing and reacting so that no two experiences will be the same.
Check out this stop-motion video from the installation of Skylum that took place on Friday:
Skylum is created by award-winning Irish artist Andrew Kearney who, following an open call, was selected to design a stimulating and engaging work which would capture the attention of those passing through the Atrium. Originally from Limerick, Andrew has developed installations for many galleries including the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, the Irish museum of Modern Art and the Ottawa Art Gallery, Canada. His site-specific work has led to many collaborative architecture and public art projects including Heathrow’s Airport Terminal 1 Pier 4a and Glen Howell Architects’ Courtyard Project, as well as an installation on London’s South Bank as part of the London Architecture Biennale.
‘A Place to Gather’
The Crafts Council of Ireland will also furnish and decorate the foyer space in the Justus Lipsius building with an exhibition of work from over thirty of Ireland’s leading craftspeople.
The area is transformed into a literary salon, with handcrafted bookshelves and furniture, alongside an impressive selection of Irish literature and decorative craft pieces for visitors to enjoy. Ireland Literature Exchange, which promotes Irish writing internationally, has also donated a large number of books by Irish writers in translation.
With a large central table and chairs, floor covering, sofas and lighting, this design aims to engage staff and visitors with the Irish books and craft on display.
The layout of the installation is designed to frame the stained glass window – a permanent central feature of the foyer – which was designed by Irish artist James Scanlon in the 1990s.
Floor 50 - The Presidential Suite
The Presidential Suite, also curated by the Crafts Council of Ireland, displays contemporary furniture in materials such as bog oak, Irish tweed and linen, and Kilkenny marble, combining beauty and function. The walls of the two spaces are lined with Irish linen.
The walls of the corridors on Floor 50 feature landscape and portrait photography by Patrick Hogan, the Artist Award winner at the Irish Gallery of Photography. His work presents an intimate view of his everyday encounters and surroundings in a remote area of County Tipperary in Ireland.
These installations are part of the Presidency Culture Programme that is being co-ordinated by Culture Ireland, the Arts Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The Programme takes place both nationally and internationally, with nearly 300 cultural events planned at home and abroad as part of the EU Presidency.
The full Cultural Programme is set to be announced on Wednesday 9 January in the National Gallery.