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Public Art, in Local Authority


Daniel Jewesbury & Valerie Connor (Eds)


A new book featuring European perspectives on commissioning public art.

Research for the essays began at the Commissions+International Symposium on Public Art organised 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 to reflect on how recent economic and political upheavals have affected the commissioning of public art nationally and internationally. An accompanying critical and historical essay by Dave Beech unpacks the aspirations and expectations expressed 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, and an afterword by Valerie Connor 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 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 of the National Visual Arts Library

Caroline Cowley is Public Art Co-ordinator 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.

Enquiries to Caroline Cowley Public Art Co-ordinator,

Public Art, in Local Authority

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