The topic of oil drills around Dublin is quite a controversial one at present, so we are loving Alan Phelan’s witty and thought-provoking inverted oil drill sculpture that has emerged out of the lake at Fr. Collins’ Park, Donaghmede recently. We thought Phelan’s artist statement interesting food for thought, so here it is, for your delectation:
“As an inverted oil drilling platform rig the metaphor or concept is quite simple. The oil rig is notionally returning the oil to the ground. The piece connects to the sustainable design of the park, drawing on the environmental concepts that have informed the park concept and its realisation. Rather than duplicate the strategies used in the park’s sustainable design what is proposed is a different metaphor for these concerns. The piece is a logical yet creative response to the alternative energy resource provided by the five wind turbines which dominate the promenade in the park.
Ireland, as small open economy, with few and controversial fossil fuel resources is dependant on outside forces in the globalized economy. To reflect this the sculpture designed and fabricated outside of the EU, in Serbia. This not only reflects the common practice of outsourcing but directly engages a globalized economy, where migratory work patterns have seen many Eastern European people coming to Ireland over the past decade, this process can be seen as reversing this flow of labour. With the park’s close proximity to the airport, and the constant air traffic above, this production process reflects the reality of the global economy, one where the world cannot function in isolation but must harness the best expertise and opportunities available.
The proposed sculpture is a development of a gallery based sculpture made in 2005, titled Bennett Island. This work was made from acrylic and wood with metal supports and hidden stabilisers (see illustrations). The structure is cantilevered, with a hidden base structure under the graphic of the island, connected to the top platform section by the drilling pipe, and via the black tank box at the top this platform. This was made in a style described as provisional – having the work look unfinished or incomplete – this allows the viewer to complete the work visually filling in the blanks.”
Check it out. Free to view, free to ponder, free to fill in the blanks…