Local Authority : European perspectives on commissioning Public Art:

NEW BOOK on European perspectives on commissioning Public Art:

Local Authority, 2015

A new publication commissioned by Fingal County Council's Arts Office, Local Authority investigates how public art is now produced within national contexts across Europe. Edited by Daniel Jewesbury and Valerie Connor, with contributors Dave Beech, Cécile Bourne-Farrell, Nils Van Beek, and María Mur Dean.

Launch: 6pm, 30th November, IMMA, with refreshments by Luncheonette.

Guest Speaker: Paul Reid Chief Executive of Fingal County Council.

Paul will be joined by the editors Daniel Jewesbury and Valerie Connor for this very special event and Caroline Cowley, Public Art Coordinator, Fingal Arts. The launch is the closing event of Create Ireland's Annual Networking Day for Collaborative Arts.

RSVP (applies to the book launch only) to Caroline Cowley, Public Art Coordinator, Fingal County Council: caroline.cowley@fingal.ie or (01) 870 8449

If you wish to attend the day-long event please visit website to book a ticket, where there are details about speakers and programme: www.create-ireland.ie

About the Book

Research for the Local Authority book of essays began in 2012 at Commissions + International Symposium on Public Art organized by Fingal County Council.

Original participants at the symposium, Cécile Bourne-Farrell, Nils Van Beek and María Mur Dean, were invited to return to the ideas recorded that day. Their new essays reflect on how recent economic and political upheavals have affected the commissioning process for public art nationally and internationally. An accompanying critical and historical essay by Dave Beech unpacks the aspirations and expectations given expression through the ideas and practices of ‘public art’ in Europe.

A foreword by Caroline Cowley outlines the strategies adopted by Fingal County Council’s Public Art Programme to build common cause with groundbreaking producers and agencies. Daniel Jewesbury’s Introduction interrogates what is at stake in the commissioning of public art, the risks and opportunities, with an afterword Valerie Connor that reviews the impetus for the publication.


Professor Dave Beech (UK) is an artist and lecturer at Valand Academy, Gothenberg, Sweden, and founder member of the artist collective Freee. He has curated exhibitions and contributed to debates on participation and art’s publics, in books such as In Search of Art’s New Publics and The Pedagogical Turn. He is a founding editor of the journal Art and the Public Sphere.

Cécile Bourne-Farrell (France/Spain/UK) is an advisor and curator of Nouveau Commanditaires (New Patrons), an initiative of Fondation de France and Francois Hers. One of its primary missions is to redistribute received donations and bequests to tackle societal issues which are otherwise seldom or badly tackled. Cécile is currently working in the department of War Studies at King’s College towards the creation of a residency program and a curatorial project in 2016.

Nils Van Beek (Netherlands) is a curator and founder of TAAK (formerly director of public arts agency SKOR). TAAK is an agency based in Amsterdam that develops art projects and educational programmes relating to social issues such as ecology, urbanisation, social design and human rights.

María Mur Dean (Spain) is a public art producer with consonni, based in Bilbao. Using feminism as a roadmap, consonni expands curating, production, scheduling and editing in contemporary art practices to create the public sphere.

Editors and Commissioner

Dr Daniel Jewesbury is an artist and Lecturer in Film at the University of Ulster, Belfast. His research focus is on public space and the ideological uses of public art, the historiography of Northern Irish art, and experimental and documentary filmmaking.

Valerie Connor is a freelance curator and advisor, and lectures in photography at the Dublin Institute of Technology. She is a member of the Advisory Board of PhotoIreland and the Advisory Panel of the National Irish Visual Arts Library.

Caroline Cowley is Public Art Coordinator with Fingal Arts/Fingal County Council and has run the commissioning programmes and public art projects since 2005. The book has been commissioned by Fingal County Council.

Publishing Information

Editors: Daniel Jewesbury & Valerie Connor
Graphic Design: Keith Connolly, Tonic, Belfast
Translation: Christine Tubridy
Cover Photo: Sandra McAlister
Publisher: Fingal Arts/Fingal County Council, 2015

ISBN 9780957172197