Bamboo Scaffolding

Artist Name(s) Dan Shipsides
Artwork title Bamboo Scaffolding
Context/Background The Nissan Art Project, sponsored by Nissan Ireland, was established in 1997 in association with the Irish Museum of Modern Art. The project was created to provide meaningful support and financial assistance for artists working in Ireland, and was one of the largest visual art sponsorships in Ireland at the time. It was initiated to offer artists working in any medium the opportunity to realise a new temporary artwork for the public domain – defined as any space or process to which the general public has ready unmediated access. The project was open to Irish artists working in Ireland or overseas and to non-Irish artists who had a defined involvement with Ireland. In 1997 the first in the series of commissions was awarded to Irish-born artist Frances Hegarty and British installation artist Andrew Stones for their temporary public artwork ‘For Dublin’. Subsequent commissions included Dorothy Cross ‘Ghost Ship’ (1998), and Dan Shipsides ‘Bamboo Scaffolding’ (2000) at the Carlton Cinema, Dublin. From 2002 onwards, Nissan Art Project commissioned retrospective exhibitions by four Irish mid-career artists, shown at the RHA, Dublin: John Noel Smith (2002), Barrie Cooke (2003), Martin Gale (2004) and Stephen McKenna (2005).

Bamboo Scaffolding (2000) involved the erection of a bamboo structure on the facade of the disused Carlton Cinema building on O’Connell Street in Dublin’s city centre. The Carlton Cinema building was, at the time, being renovated under a major redevelopment scheme for the whole of O’Connell Street. Over 12,000 metres of bamboo was shipped from Hong Kong for the structure, which was 30m long x 20.5m high x 1.5m wide. The structure was identical to working scaffolding in many Asian countries, where the use of bamboo scaffolding is common place. A team of seven professional scaffolding workers from the Ever Need Company Ltd., Hong Kong (supervised by company manager Albert Lai) erected the scaffolding using simple hand tools, under the direction of the artist and Museum staff and with assistance from Scafform, Dublin. The process of construction took ten days and took four days to dismantle. These “live” periods were conceived as integral aspects of the project, with the workers moving dramatically in choreographed actions high above the street.

Bamboo Scaffolding was the third Nissan Art Project. Following the success of the two previous projects – ‘For Dublin’ by Fran Hegarty and Andrew Stones (1997) and ‘GHOSTSHIP’ by Dorothy Cross (1999) – Nissan Ireland announced an increase in its sponsorship from £40,000 to £100,000 for the millennium year, making the project one of the largest visual arts sponsorships in these islands.

For a more detailed account of the project including the artist’s conceptual motivations, see his website:

A video of the installation process/documentation footage is available here:

  • Marianne Hartigan 'Now showing at the Carlton', The Sunday Tribune, Ireland. 1st October. 2000.
  • Mebh Ruane 'Bamboo Curtain', The Sunday Times, 15 October 2000.
  • Aidan Dunne, 'Visual Art - Bamboo Support', The Irish Times, 4th October 2000.
  • Edmund Burke 'Street’s bamboozled', The Star, 20th September 2000.
  • Luke Clancy 'Boomtime in bamboo city', The Evening Herald, 22 Nov 1999.
  • Aideen Sheehan 'Carlton gets a lot of stick' The Evening Herald, 21 September 2000.
  • Author Unkown 'Bamboozling up Dublin', Sunday Business Post, 24 September 2000.
  • Nick Clow 'The Art of Climbing', Thrutch Magazine, Sydney Rock Climbing Club. Sep issue 2000.
  • Lynne Cooke/ OBG, 'Perspective 2000' Catalogue publication.
  • Ed. 'Tiger swallows Nissan' Circa, Issue 92, Summer 2000.
  • Ed. 'Nissan Art Award', Art Monthly, May 2000.
  • Niall Frazer, 'Bamboo shoots up in Ireland', The South China Post, 26th March 2000.
  • Aidan Dunne 'Bamboo wall for former cinema', The Irish Times, 21st March 2000.
  • Nicola Byrne 'Nissan Art Project', Winner announcement. 22nd March 2000.
  • Charlie Mallon 'Object d’art or Hong Kong Phooey?', The Evening Herald, 21st March 2000.
  • Dan Collins '...bamboozled', The Cork Examiner, 22nd March 2000.
  • Author unkown '...sent out to the sticks', The Star, 22nd March 2000.
  • Aidan Dunne 'Nissan Art Project. Shortlist announcement', The Irish Times, 17 Nov 1999.

Dan Shipsides was born in Lancashire, England in 1972, and has lived and worked in Belfast since 1995. He is is a former co-director at Catalyst Arts, Belfast and is currently based in Orchid Studios and is a researcher and lecturer at the School of Art & Design at the University of Ulster in Belfast. He was awarded the ACNI Major Artist Award in 2004, the Nissan Art Award in 2000, and the Perspective award (OBG, Belfast) in 1998.

He has exhibited nationally and internationally including:

ACCA, Melbourne (Desire Lines), The MAC, Belfast (Still not out of the woods), Aliceday Gallery, Brussels (Vigil | Star), South London Gallery (Games & Theory), Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (Radical Architecture), Wings Project Art Space, Switzerland (Performance), Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (Elastic Frontiers), Konsthall C,  Stockholm, Sweden (Under plattan, ängen!), Platform Guranti, Istanbul (Hit & Run), Confederation Gallery, PEI, Canada (Beauty Queens), HEDAH, Maastricht (Rochers à Fontainebleau), Riga Sculpture Quadrennial, Latvia (European Space), Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (Beta), Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (Pioneers), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (Sporting Life). Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (Endure), Melbourne International Biennial, Australia (Signs of Life).

Detailed CV available on the artist's website:

Commission Type Public Private Partnership (PPP)
Commissioner Name Nissan Ireland in partnership with the Irish Museum of Modern Art
Commissioning process International Competition (jury selection)
Public Presentation dates September 26, 2000 - December 2, 2000
Partners Irish Museum of Modern Art
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Private
Budget Range 70000 - 150000 euro
Location Carlton Cinema building
County Dublin
Town Dublin
Street Address O’Connell Street
Content contributor(s) Web Editor
Associated professionals / Specialists involved
  • Gerard O'Toole, Executive Chairman of Nissan Ireland
  • Philomena Byrne Head of Public Affairs at Irish Museum of Modern Art.
  • Monica Cullinane Senior Public Affairs Executive at Irish Museum of Modern Art.
  • Alber Lai, Manager, Ever Need Co. Shek Kong, New Territories, China
  • Scafform Ltd., Co. Dublin

The members of the 2000 selection panel were:

  • Sune Nordgren, Director, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead
  • James Lingwood, Director, Artangel, London
  • Mary McCarthy, Director, National Sculpture Factory, Cork
  • Jim Barrett, Dublin City Architect, Dublin Corporation
  • Brenda McParland, Head of Exhibitions, Irish Museum of Modern Art

The panel was chaired by Declan McGonagle, Director, Irish Museum of Modern Art.



no news in this list.

more opportunities

Focus On



Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

more about this article