REMASTERED AND PUBLISHED 17 JUNE 2023
I was at a distance when I noticed this blue sculpture so the photographs are not detailed. I came across the sculpture by accident as I was trying to find my way to St. Finbarr’s Cemetery. At the time there was too much traffic at the Wilton Roundabout so I decided that it would be better to return later in order to photograph the sculpture but as it began to rain during my visit to the cemetery I decided to get the 216 bus back to the city centre. Of course, the rain ceased the minute I boarded the bus. Unfortunately because of weather conditions I never got to revisit the sculpture.
If you refer to “Cork In 50 Artworks” you will discover that No 29 is John Burke’s sculpture at Wilton Roundabout.
The piece – 25 ft high and eight tons in weight – was commissioned by local businessmen Clayton Love and Séamus Gallagher to inaugurate the Cork 800 celebrations the following year.
According to a local newspaper the untitled sculpture was mistaken by many as a location marker for airplanes flying into Cork Airport.
Born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, in 1946, John Burke studied at the Crawford School of Art in Cork, and in London with Brian Kneal.
He has shown sculptures in all the major Irish group exhibitions, as well as international shows like Artists 77, New York (1977); 18 European Sculptors, Munich (1978); Sculpture Européenne, Brussels (1979); A Sense of Ireland, London (1980); and C.A.N., Cork (1985), where he won the sculptor prize. He has held solo shows at Trinity College, Dublin; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; the David Hendriks Gallery, Dublin; and an open-air show in Cork city.
His outdoor works include the abstract red steel sculpture at the Bank of Ireland building on Baggot Street, Dublin. I really like the one on Baggot Street.