THE ARTIST IS VIVIENNE ROCHE
Today was my first session in November. When I got up this morning the sunlight was beautiful so I decided that it would walk to Bushy Park vis St Patrick’s Park.
The Liberty Bell is an elongated bell, hung by a chain to a metal frame that is painted white. The bell is about 5 ft in height.
Many years ago an American tourist asked me for directions to The Liberty Bell and I, not knowing about this sculpture in St Patrick’s Park, directed them to the Liberty Belle Pub which is not far from the cathedral … I hope that they liked to pub.
For a number of years I had believed that the bell in St. Patrick’s park was named after the Liberty Bell the iconic symbol of American independence but I was totally wrong. It is known as ‘The Liberty Bell’ because it is located in an area of Dublin of Dublin known as “The Liberties”.
One of my friends contacted me to draw my attention to the fact that the Liberty Bell is often confused with Dublin’s “freedom bell”, the first Catholic Church bell to ring in Dublin in breach of the Penal Laws 200 years ago.
Legend has it that The Liberator Daniel O’Connell rang the bell to celebrate emancipation in 1829, creating the crack in the bell which remains visible today. “This is Dublin’s, and Ireland’s, great freedom bell,” Smock Alley director Patrick Sutton said in an interview with the Irish Times. “In America the Liberty Bell is cased behind eight inches of plate glass, our bell was cased beneath eight inches of pigeon poop.”
The Liberties of Dublin, Ireland were manorial jurisdictions that existed since the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. They were town lands united to the city, but still preserving their own jurisdiction. The most important of these liberties were the Liberty of St. Sepulchre, under the Archbishop of Dublin, and the Liberty of Thomas Court and Donore belonging to the Abbey of St. Thomas (later called the Earl of Meath’s Liberty).Today’s “Dublin Liberties” generally refer to the inner-city area covered by these two liberties.
Vivienne Roche is a sculptor who lives and works near the sea in Co. Cork, Ireland
Over the last three or four decades she has worked in large-scale bronze, glass, steel, sailcloth, stuccodore plaster, and reconfigured landscape. Drawing, watercolour and photography have also been central to her work. Her artistic themes derive from site-specific dialogues between architecture and sculpture, the emotional resonances of the coastal landscape in which she lives, relationships between male and female, archaeology sites and their artefacts, and between music and the visual. Light has been a central focus as is evidenced in commissioned artworks such as NC Iris (2006), Whitelight Garden (2006), Light Ensemble (2008) and Light House (2009)