Sean Lynch’s workshops at Fingal Community College, Swords, involved considering how public art ‘works’ in terms of the spaces we communally share and how we encounter these artworks in our contemporary world. Looking at the many different types of artistic methodologies that have emerged since 1916, Sean took the students on a brief (virtual) tour of artworks by artists such as SITE, Paul Gregg, Joseph Beuys, John Burke, Francis Alys, Marta Minujin, Paddy Bloomer and Nicholas Keogh, as well as his own work. He used these works to present students with ideas around ‘how art behaves’ in our public world, and how art sometimes gets into situations where there is 'a bit of devilment involved’. Sean highlighted the conversations and debate that are sometimes provoked by such artworks.
Asking the group to embrace this sense of ‘devilment’ he gave them each the task of developing a proposal for a piece of public art. He asked them to think about everyday objects and how they would change if they were made into pieces of public art. He asked them to think of the strangest place they knew and what piece of public art they would put there - prompting them to think about the role of ‘place’ in the making of a public artwork.
Using a combination of drawing, clay and construction the students each constructed a model that they used to present their idea to the rest of the class. The ideas presented were a strong and diverse combination of the surreal, socially aware, humorous and touching.