The Map

Artist Name(s) Paul Seawright
Artwork title The Map

The Map is a limited edition book comprising of 14 day and night time images from the Tallaght area. The photographs were taken between January and May 2000. In taking these photographs, photographer Paul Seawright was concerned with building a visual profile of the boundaries between rural and urban Tallaght; the line where nature and urban life collide. The Map publication was delivered free to 19,000 homes in the Tallaght area in late 2000. The work was commissioned under the auspices of in context 2, a series of 8 art commissions across artforms, made for South Dublin County Council and produced by Aisling Prior and Jenny Haughton through Artworking. 

Two photo works from The Map;  Horizon Night and Untitled, also form part of the County Council's permanent art collection.
Horizon Night 
was also incorporated into Stephen Gardner's musical commission for in context 2, and used on the CD cover. Gardner's musical composition Tallaght (Chiaroscuro) was similarly inspired by the complex shifting mood at the edges of urban and rural Tallaght area.


The public art aspect of the commission manifested itself as a unexpected gift of a copy of the publication, The Map. The small book was delivered as a gift to 19,000 South Dublin households within the local constituency. Works from the series were subsequently exhibited at the Douglas Hyde Gallery and at the Venice Biennale. The commission and its mediation, aroused new discourse on the nature of public art and the ownership of same, and how certain contemporary art practices may or may not be solicited, collected or even recognised in certain formats.


Paul Seawright is Professor of Photography at the University of Ulster, and was formerly Dean of Newport School of Art, Media and Design at the University of Wales, Newport, United Kingdom. He was awarded a personal Chair by the University of Wales in 2001, and is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2005, the FotoMuseum Antwerp exhibited a major survey exhibition of his work with accompanying catalogue Field Notes. In 2002 he travelled to Afghanistan, having been commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, London, to respond to the attacks of September 11 and the subsequent war against the Taliban. He was also the first editor of the Belfast based photography magazine Source and winner of the Irish Museum of Modern Art's Glen Dimplex Art Award 1997. He is a native of Belfast.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name South Dublin County Council
Commissioning process Open competition with two stage selection process
Project commission dates January 1, 1999 - January 1, 2000
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By South Dublin County Council
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Project commission start date 01/01/1999
Project commission end date 01/01/2000
Location Tallaght
County Dublin
Town Tallaght
Street Address Dublin 24
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Content contributor(s) Rachel McAree and Aisling Prior
Relationship to project Project Manager, In Context 3 Curator, in context 2 respectively
Public engagement

Local residents and gallery audiences

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Stephen Gardner, composer 



Per cent for art commission | Coláiste Chú Chulainn Co. Louth

17 February 2021

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