Artist Name(s) Lucy Hill
Artwork title Scáile
Context/Background Located at the southern most end of the Mullet peninsula, Black Sod (An Fód Dubh) is steeped in history. The Mullet peninsula is about twelve miles long, very narrow, and can be subjected to extreme weather from the Atlantic. The area has strong association with St. Deirbhle, who is celebrated in Michael Bulfin’s sculpture, Deirbhle’s Twist, at Fál Mór, overlooking Blacksod Bay. This was part of the Tír Sáile Sculpture Trail, a series of site specific art works commissioned as part of the Mayo 5,000 celebration in 1993.

The Spanish Armanda also features in the history of the area, with ships seeking refuge in the Blacksod Harbour. Blacksod lighthouse was completed in 1866 of local cut granite. The lighthouse station was converted to electricity in 1967 and has been a helicopter base since 1969. The area is rich in wildlife and natural beauty.

Lucy Hill created six glazed paintings for the pier walls at Blacksod Pier entitled Scáile. These were then translated into images in clay. The original oil paintings are on permanent display at the Belmullet Civic Centre. These unique artworks enjoy the durability of ceramic and the delicacy and tactility of oil painting.

On two ceramic bas-relief panels Hill uses a series of motifs and recognisable elements. The colours, forms and textures of the imagery available (nets, ropes, boats, lobster pots) are immensely exciting both visually and lyrically. Each of the two ceramic panels display a different focus, the first using all of the imagery of the pier and the second using the images of the important local landscape, its flora and fauna from both sea and land.

The sea/ pier panel set on the angled plinth wall has a multitude of images and colours from the boats, ropes, steps, crane, fish- boxes, fishermen, lobsterpots and lighthouse. The land panel is situated on the far wall adjacent to the curved steps. It shows elements specific to Blacksod particularly the important relationship with the land, its ecological importance in terms of bird life, its sands, history and people all set over a map of the peninsula. The textures achievable in the clay make the wall panels two dimensional sculptures. The responsiveness and tactile malleability of clay is used to full capacity by drawing into it, rolling it, pressing textures into it and painting with it.

By using both facing walls the images are very striking for their introduction of colour to the pier. The panels are site specific in the truest sense in that all of the images used are drawn from the site. They sit well with the workings of the pier as they afford maximum visual impact in terms of colour, texture without impeding in any way the usual movements of this busy pier.  

The imagery is dynamic, using all of the colour and visual excitement of the area. The bas-relief panels contains elements particular to Blacksod and encapsulate the beauty and energy of the area as well as reference to its rich historical past  and its vital importance and relevance to modern Ireland.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Mayo County Council
Project commission dates April 2, 2006 - May 2, 2007
Public Presentation dates May 2, 2007 - January 1, 1970
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Mayo County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 02/04/2006
Project commission end date 02/05/2007
Location Blacksod Pier
County Mayo
Town Belmullet
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Gaynor Seville
Relationship to project Public Art Coordinator 



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