Arts News


Suppose an Outcrop by Eilis O’Connell RHA - Public Art Commission

A sculpture commissioned by Sligo County Council under the Per Cent for Art Scheme as part of the recently completed N4-N15 Sligo Urban Improvement Scheme and the Social Housing apartment development at Rosses Point Road, with support from Sligo Tidy Towns.

Sligo County Council this week welcomes the installation of Suppose an Outcrop, a large scale, five metre tall, stainless steel sculpture by the internationally renowned Irish artist, Eilis O’Connell.

The title suggests the meaning behind the sculpture.  The word “suppose” hints at the use of one’s imagination.  An “outcrop” is associated with mountains, rocks and natural formations, making reference to Sligo’s geological formations, such as, Benbulben’s shale formation and sloping sides. O’Connell asks that we imaginatively connect the sculpture with landscape and the forces of nature.

Assembled and designed by Eilis O’Connell, Suppose an Outcrop is made of perforated sheet steel and hand woven steel cable placed in a welded linear structure.  As O’Connell explains, “so often we see objects that are too perfect, we experience digital manufacture fatigue, therefore it is important that the evidence of hand work in this sculpture is expressed in a visceral intuitive way.”.

A series of creative engagement workshops are being developed for local schools in the local community to bring the work to life and explore the creative process behind making the sculpture. Schools taking part include: St. Brendan’s NS and St Edward’s NS.

The meticulously hand-crafted curved sculpture is now a permanent feature located in the small urban park, developed as part of the N4-N15 Sligo Urban Improvement Scheme, at the Rosses Point Road Junction, Co. Sligo.  Landscaping of the site will be completed over the coming weeks by Sligo County Council’s Parks Department, after which a celebratory launch event will be scheduled.

This commission is part of Sligo County Council’s Public Art Programme, funded by the Department of Transport, through Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the Per Cent for Art Scheme and support from Sligo Tidy Towns.  For more information go to:


“Many of my seemingly abstract sculptures are based on structures that occur in nature and my local landscape, I see mathematical patterns in geology and field markings and derive aesthetic pleasure from the mathematical order inherent in the natural world.  For this commission for Sligo County Council under the Per Cent for Art Scheme I have made the top section of this sculpture myself from sections of steel that were made years ago when I came across an old wheel-making machine while working in London.  I have held onto these shapes and return to them again and again, almost like using my own vocabulary of line, so the continuity of collecting materials is a very important aspect of my work.” – Eilis O’Connell RHA, Artist.

“The Architects and Engineering sections of Sligo County Council have worked closely on the co-ordination and delivery of both projects that were concurrently under construction together with yielding the supporting funding under the Per Cent for Art Scheme.  The dividend of a small urban park at the intersection of these developments has provided an ideal location for the resulting sculptural response to the site and its environs by Eilis O’Connell as part of the Per Cent for Art Scheme.” –Cathaoirleach Paul Taylor, Sligo County Council.

“The opportunity to merge the Per Cent for Art budgets for both projects enabled this impressive sculpture to be commissioned, which will feature prominently in the newly created small urban park, and will be clearly visible from the N15 travelling into Sligo.  This Public Art piece, along with the new landscaping adjacent to the N15 and at the Rosses Point Road Junction, will enhance the entrance to Sligo from the North, and along with the improved walking and cycling facilities, will significantly improve the environment for commuters and the local community in the area.” – Councillor Dónal Gilroy, Chair of the Public Art Steering Group, Sligo County Council.

“Sligo County Council are delighted to have a Public Art piece installation in Sligo created by such a well renowned artist as Eilis O’Connell. Suppose an Outcrop will complement the existing beautiful location and we look forward to working with the local schools in bringing the art piece to life within the local community.” – Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services, Sligo County Council.

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© Sligo County Council Arts Department, City Hall, Quay Street, Sligo, Co. Sligo, Ireland tel: +353 (0) 71 911 4465