The Helicopter

Artist Name(s) Rory Breslin
Artwork title The Helicopter
Context/Background Ballina is the largest town in Mayo, situated on the plain of the river Moy and developed as a small sea port and market town, expanding after the construction of The Quay in 1836. The river Moy continues to be the town's main asset as it is one of the finest salmon rivers in Europe. Ballina is a growing urban centre, with a developing commercial base forming the regional hub of North Mayo.

The Helicopter is made up of four bronze sycamore seeds placed on a circular base which emphasises the pyramidal form. The sculpture conjures up the pastime of throwing helicopters (or sycamore seeds) into the air and celebrates the extraordinary natural mechanics all around us.

The sculpture is four foot high with a diameter of six feet. The circular base emphasises the pyramid. Its size lends it prominence without it being overbearing. Special emphasis is placed on the seed's wooden and veiny texture in order to maximise the sculpture's finish and to do nature justice. With a brown texture finish it looks extremely lively and extraordinarily tactile.

Being made of bronze and dowelled by way of stainless steel into its base made it impervious to rough treatment. The seats are made from limestone plinths. The structure and layout that was chosen for the seeds in terms of the pyramid was specific and intended on considering its location in the housing estate and within the community.

The pyramid resembles a place of shelter and of safety which relates strongly to the surrounding homes. Its architectural references inspired ideas of the strength through design and engineering. Its 'lightness' and beauty underscores the power and importance of the intelligent design and construction both in terms of art and architectural engineering. Despite all of this focus on the cleverness of design and construction, the overriding feeling that the piece emits is still of familiar beauty, lightness and playfulness, shelter and safety.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Mayo County Council
Project commission dates March 18, 2005 - June 29, 2005
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Mayo County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Project commission start date 18/03/2005
Project commission end date 29/06/2005
County Mayo
Town Ballina
Street Address Ard na RĂ­
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Gaynor Seville
Relationship to project Public Art Co-ordinator 



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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.  

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