Glasshouse Archive: Modernity’s North Dublin Legacy

Artist Name(s) Gerard Byrne
Artwork title Glasshouse Archive: Modernity’s North Dublin Legacy
Context/Background ARC was Dublin City and Fingal County Council's Per Cent for Art scheme (2003-2005), arising from water services schemes in these areas, including The Dublin Bay Project and The North Fringe Water Supply Scheme. Under the ARC scheme that arose from the waste water treatment plant in Ringsend, four artists were commissioned. Three international and one Irish artist were selected for the project, each responding to the brief laid down by the curators. The other artists were Amy Plant, Peter Fend and Tatsuro Bashi. 

In 2005, Gerard Byrne spent several months documenting glasshouses in the rural areas of Rush and Lusk, County Dublin. The artist produced a series of 20 photographs which portrayed the glasshouse as embodying an 'architecture of market gardening activity'. The photographs were housed in a special-purpose archive box, which toured for some time on Fingal’s Mobile Library Service. The main areas covered by this service were the towns featured in Gerard’s photographs.


The box is still available to the public and is accompanied by a detailed publication and essay on this theme: Gerard Byrne & Lytle Shaw ‘Glasshouse Archive: Modernity’s North Dublin Legacy’ (Dublin: Fingal County Council, 2006).

A DVD on all of the four ARC projects is available for research purposes. The ARC film, commissioned by Dublin City and Fingal County Councils, is the first film to document the public art commissioning process in Ireland.


Gerard Byrne (b. Dublin, 1969) is a visual artist working with photographic, video, and live art. In 2007 he represented Ireland in the Venice Biennale. Other major presentations of his work at international biennials include the biennales of Gwangju and Sydney in 2008, Lyon in 2007, the Tate Triennial in 2006, and the Istanbul Biennale in 2003. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at the ICA Boston and the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (both 2008), Dusseldorf Kunstverein, the Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver (2007), the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003) and at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2002). In 2006 he was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn award. He is represented in London by Lisson Gallery, in Dublin by Green on Red Gallery, and in Stockholm by Galerie Nordenhake. He currently lives and works in Dublin.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Caroline Cowley, Public Art Co-ordinator, Fingal Arts Office, Fingal County Council
Commissioning process 'Artworking' were contracted to manage the project. Curators were approached to select artists for particular areas in the two counties. Following a period of research into the areas, Amy Plant (U.K) and Gerard Byrne (IRL) were selected for Fingal.
Partners Dublin City Council
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Fingal County Council,Dublin City Council
Percent for art Yes
Project commission end date 31/12/2005
Location Rush & Lusk
County Dublin
Content contributor(s) Web Editor
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Caroline Cowley, Public Art Co-ordinator, Fingal Arts Office, Fingal County Council;

Fingal Co. Council Mobile Library Service;

Artworking headed by Jenny Haughton (Public Art Specialist, Arts Council)



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