South Dublin County Public Art

An information resource for permanent and temporary public artworks in South Dublin County

In this website you can find information about artists and artworks, access audio and film works, read texts and search for artworks by map, locality, artform or artist.

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Sugar and Spice by Louise Walsh

Visual Arts
St.Finians Park, Lucan
View these locations on a map
South Dublin County Council SDCC
Dept. of Environment Heritage and Local Government
In Context 1

Context Background:

In July 1997, South Dublin County Council and its consultants, Artworking, invited three directors of national visual art organisations to propose artists for two Per Cent for Art commissions. A new park under construction between Rathcoole and Saggart and St. Finians Park, Lucan would provide sites for these works. The Council intended these as a pilot project that might lead to longer term public art programming. Creative engagement with the site and an ability to effectively engage with recipient communities were the main criteria. Through a shortlisting and presentation process Louise Walshe was selected for the St. Finians project.


Responding to a brief defined by the local community, the artist Louise Walsh created two bronze sculptures of children to act as traffic calming devices sited either side of a ramp in St. Finian's Estate, Lucan.

Sugar incorporates the shape of a sweet and Spice has a snail helmet.  Each figure is approx 60 cm high and has distinctive blue/green patination on their clothing; on the girl’s dress, the boy’s jumper and his shell shaped hat. The girl’s pigtails are fan shaped and look like the twisted ends of sweet wrappers. On the front of her dress is the word ‘Spice’.

Artist-led workshops with local children also produced four traffic warning signs mounted on standard sign posts, two on each approach to the ramp. 

Artist Biography:

Born in Co Cork in 1963, Louise Walsh graduated from the Crawford School of Art and Design in 1984. She received her MA Fine Art from the University of Ulster in1986.  She has taught and consulted extensively in Universities and Art Colleges in Ireland and the UK.  She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Sounding the Depths a collaborative video installation with Pauline Cummins toured to Kunstlerhaus, Graz, Austria; The Tate Gallery, Liverpool; Street Level Gallery, Glasgow and the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston, USA.

Walsh’s practice is more often located in public spaces or contexts and is negotiated through the participation of various constituencies or communities. Her public art commissions include;  a public art project and installation; The Hybrid Love Seat, a 40-meter long sculptural work at the Luas Stop, James Hospital (2008), includes bronze sculptures done by local teenagers who were supported by National College of Art and Design (NCAD) students on a linked project.  A participatory project in Rosslare with residents from the Cois Mara public authority housing estate, for Wexford County Council (2007).  Integrated Public Artworks situated around the entrance of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast (2001). An installation in public walkway Pier 4A, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport, London, (1994), and Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker, Belfast (1992).

Current projects include; A participatory public art project with NCAD staff to be sited around the Emergency Department in James Hospital. A public art project and installation commemorating the shirt factory workers and the industry in Derry.

Walsh has a particular interest in developing artwork through dialogue, process based, participatory, and collaborative as well as educational practices.


An exhibition of plans of the proposed sculpture, and children’s drawings from the road sign workshops was held from 22nd March to 5th April 1999 in County Hall, Tallaght.

3 Commissions, a catalogue produced by South Dublin County Council features work from the public art programmes from 1997 – 1999 including Sugar and Spice.

Commissioner Type:

Local Authority


South Dublin County Council SDCC


In Context 1

PerCent for Art:


Commissioning Process:

Limited Competition


Dept. of Environment Heritage and Local Government

Budget Range:

10,000 - 30,000

Project Start Date:


Project End Date:


Public Engagement:

Artist-led workshops with local children

Associated Professionals:

Project Manager: Artworking - Jenny Haughton & Aisling Prior