From the competition panel, January 2014 (click on image to see full panel)

The five artworks (click on images for more)


My feet don’t touch the ground

Participative Art Project

Ardscoil Na Mara

Tramore, Ireland. 2014

1762: Di Sotto in Sù. Installation View

The conversation between art and architecture has been, for the last four years, the constant concern of our work*. For Tramore, we brought into centre stage works from the history of art that have served as our particular references.

Tiepolo transformed ceilings into pictorial spaces above our heads, a view through into a heavenly space beyond which he unapologetically combined christian and pagan imagery to invent a sensuously weightless world, Di Sotto in Sù (literally “seen from below”). Using the weight of architecture as counterpoint to painterly lightness, Tiepolo’s Quadratura allows the one to invade the other, the painting breaking through the framing architecture which in turn is introduced into the pictorial space. When this tradition reemerged in the modern world,  it was as dream-space in the work of Marc Chagall, and later in the soft nightmares of René Magritte. Perhaps, in our contemporary world, reality has caught up with dreams: Yves Klein’s photographic Leap into the Void exploits our belief that cameras never lie, and the hyper-realist space walks in Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity show us a gravity-free world where the weight of architecture is replaced by the heavy engineering of

spacecraft while weightless bodies are protected by the high-technology of spacesuits.

Our particular concern is how to reconcile these historic inspirations with the concerns of contemporary society. We focus on three Ps: participation, photography and print. Participation of the community - that occupies (or will occupy) a building of glass, steel and concrete - into a photographic project shot in situ and transformed to be printed - using vinyl decal printing techniques - onto the surfaces of the architecture. In the final in situ composition our ambition is to integrate art into architecture with a particular attention to the point of view of the spectator, using, in our most recent projects, the technique of anamorphosis which derives from the same renaissance perspective techniques with which we began.

Anne Cleary & Denis Connolly, 2014

* In particular it has inspired our projects for Sorgue Mediathèque, for COLAi in London, for Sallins National School, for the Luas Tramway in Dublin, for St. Pats in Cavan, for the Casino at Marino, for Gaelscoil Bantry, for Limerick City of Culture, for the present project and for our future project for Loreto Kilkenny.