Carissa Farrell explores the civic values inherent in Rachel Joynt’s soon-to-be-unveiled 1916 commemorative commission, Dearcán na nDaoine, for the grounds of Áras an Uachtaráin
Sculptor Rachel Joynt’s many public art commissions have won her peer respect while enjoying an active resonance with the public that encounter them. Her signature process is to adopt organic forms as a conceptual starting point and then evolve and adapt their core qualities with glass, bronze, patination, embedded light, and moving image, while retaining a recognisable sense of their organic identity. In her public art practice, scale and location are key, where hand sized forms expand to ‘mythically surreal’ proportions and typically invoke uncanny and playful connections to their environment. Joynt is very interested in the idea of place and meaning and the need to acknowledge the insight of the public in an active and relevant exchange. Her technical skill and understanding of the complex structural requirements of working with permanent materials underpins the authenticity of her intentions and her commitment to the aspiration that public art is an important civic endeavour. She is well rewarded by the popularity her work enjoys.
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