Artists breathe new life into Limerick’s beloved park kiosk

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Artists Carl Doran and Norma Lowney at the kiosk bordering the People's Park
OVER the coming months the often-overlooked Park Kiosk at the People’s Park will re-open to the public as part of a series of new, artistic and cultural residencies.

OVER the coming months the often-overlooked Park Kiosk at the People’s Park will re-open to the public as part of a series of new, artistic and cultural residencies.

Under a Limerick City of Culture initiative, artists where asked to respond to a simple brief: ‘What would you do, if you could have The Park Kiosk for a month?’

According to documentation for the invitation of applications, artists are to receive between €6,000 to €8,000 each to deliver their respective projects. The first project in the Park Kiosk from November 17 is ‘Dog Tales’ by Carl Doran, which is sure to set tails-wagging. Carl is inviting dog-owners to drop in for a chat about their dog or dogs.

He will then photograph and draw the dog, and during his final week in the kiosk he will make the artwork for each dog/owner. The project ends with presentations, a reception for dogs/owners and a group dog walk, said a spokesperson for City of Culture.

Originally from Westmeath, he completed his degree in painting in Limerick in 1998. Since then he has been a member of Contact Studios, Limerick, principally pursuing painting and drawing, while also creating site-specific art projects.

The park kiosk, which was in recent years redeveloped by Limerick Civic Trust, has been on the site since the mid-19th century.

The Limerick landmark was well known for its distinctive tobacco signs outside, when it was operated many years ago by proprietor Tom O’Sullivan.

Each month, the site will offer a new experience to the public, as artists present work made specifically for this building on the southern side of The People’s Park.

In another initiative, the kiosk’s interior will become a green building promoting Limerick as an environmentally friendly and ecologically rich city as part of a project by artist Mary Conroy.

“I’m very excited about being given the opportunity to work in this little piece of history in the beautiful People’s Park. I’m looking forward to spending time in the indoor/outdoors and creating something new through a collaborative process,” she said.

The artists have all approached the possibility of re-opening The park kiosk in different ways. Some see it as a studio, a theatre, community centre and of course a shop. Each month The Kiosk, its history and how it relates to The People’s Park and the city will be explored through different media and art forms. Norma Lowney’s project, The Theatre Shop, will transform the kiosk into a performance space. For opening times please visit limerickcityofculture.ie