Kitchen table elevated to new heights by Ballymoney artist

Artist Brian Connolly with members of the selection committee including Traolach OFionnan, Cllr. Gerry Crawford, Cllr. Marie Therese Gallagher, Eileen Burgess and Marianne OKane Boal at the official unveiling of the History Table: Elevation a new 1916 commemorative monument, in The Diamond in Lifford. INBM 15-751-CON
Artist Brian Connolly with members of the selection committee including Traolach OFionnan, Cllr. Gerry Crawford, Cllr. Marie Therese Gallagher, Eileen Burgess and Marianne OKane Boal at the official unveiling of the History Table: Elevation a new 1916 commemorative monument, in The Diamond in Lifford. INBM 15-751-CON

A simple piece of household furniture helped to provide the inspiration for an acclaimed Ballymoney artist’s latest public work.

Brian Connolly’s ‘History Table: Elevation’ has been unveiled in Lifford, County Donegal. The 1916 commemorative monument was commissioned by Donegal County Council.

Artist Brian Connolly at the official unveiling of the History Table: Elevation a new 1916 commemorative monument, in The Diamond in Lifford on Monday. INBM 15-750-CON

Artist Brian Connolly at the official unveiling of the History Table: Elevation a new 1916 commemorative monument, in The Diamond in Lifford on Monday. INBM 15-750-CON

Brian, a leading practitioner in public art nationally for over 25 years, said: “This artwork takes a recognisable item of domestic furniture and reconceptualises it as a symbolic form.

“The kitchen table is the centre of the home, where many ideas come from and plans are made; centre of family life and familiar in the Irish consciousness.”

The concept is informed by a performance artwork the artist delivered as part of the centenary programme and he has developed this further in this permanent commemorative artwork for Lifford.

The sculpture is essentially a traditional kitchen table raised up and placed on branches of coppiced hazel. All elements are cast in bronze. The table top is pierced with an extract of text from the 1916 Proclamation. The text can be viewed from below. The artwork represents an archway, a threshold and a link between past, present and future.

It is located in the Diamond in Lifford, the administrative capital of the county and the seat of Donegal County Council.

Donegal County Councillor Terence Slowey said: “ This piece of public art embodies the themes of this commemorative programme and will be enjoyed for generations to come not just by the people of Lifford but by everyone in Donegal.”

Brian, who established Moyle Art for Public Places in 2001, has created performance artworks across the world.

Much of his past work has been ‘relational’ - publicly oriented and place or context related - and is intended to involve people to the point where they may no longer be solely spectators but can become participants.