Evening Echo

Evening Echo: Cork City Council Arts Office

Evening Echo is a jointly commissioned Public Art work by Cork City Council Arts Office and Parks Department, the National Sculpture factory and New Zealand-based artist Maddie Leach.

Evening Echo is an art project generated as an artist’s response to the particularities of place and locality. Now in its third year, the project continues to gather support from the Cork Hebrew Congregation, Cork City Council, Bord Gáis and its local community.

The artwork is sited on old gasometer land gifted by Bord Gáis to Cork City Council in the late 1980s. This site was subsequently dedicated as Shalom Park in 1989. The park sits in the centre of the old Cork neighbourhood known locally as ‘Jewtown’. This neighbourhood is also home to the National Sculpture Factory.

The project establishes a conceptual link to the nine-branched candelabrum lit during the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah in the Jewish calendar. It also recalls a small community event that took place on April 28 1989, the day Shalom Park was officially dedicated and opened by Cork’s Lord Mayor Bernard Allen, whereby the occasion was briefly marked by the lighting of one of the gas lamps that stood in the park.

Manifested in a sequence of custom-built street lamps, a remote timing system, a highly controlled sense of duration and an annual announcement in Cork’s Evening Echo newspaper. Each year, the last night of Hanukkah offers the only opportunity to see ‘the ninth lamp’ alight until the next year. The ninth Lamp will begin the cycle 10 minutes before sunset which and as is customary in the lighting of Hanukkah candles, the lamp ‘burns’ for 30 minutes after sunset.

Evening Echo is fleetingly activated on an annual cycle, maintaining a delicate but persistent visibility in the park and re-activating its connection to Cork’s Jewish history. Intended to exist in perpetuity, the project maintains a delicate position between optimism for its future existence and the possibility of its own discontinuance.

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