OPW welcomes Sculpture in Context 2023 exhibition at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin

Sculpture in Context 2023

The Office of Public Works (OPW) is delighted to host Sculpture in Context at the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin. Showcasing sculpture for over 35 years, this annual event is the longest-running, largest and most important sculpture exhibition in the country, attracting a large public and critical audience. This cultural highlight in the National Botani Gardens’ calendar runs from 7 September until 13 October, is free of charge and open daily.

The artworks in this year’s exhibition receive a spectacular presentation throughout the 50 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, allowing visitors to discover sculpture in the most unexpected and surprising places. Smaller sculptures will be exhibited throughout the glasshouses and in the Gallery upstairs in the Visitor Centre.

Bringing together the work of more than 140 artists – including Alan Clarke, Eileen MacDonagh, Róisín de Buitléar, Shane Holland and Sara Cunningham-Bell – using an incredible range of media, these works of art represent the richly diverse character of Irish and international contemporary sculpture.

Artists have been inspired by themes such as wildlife, ecology, climate change and homelessness. From the smallest, most intricate ceramic works to stone sculptures of a monumental scale, visitors to the exhibition will be enriched by the experience of viewing such inspiring works in one location. The artistic integrity and technical skill involved in creating the works is evident throughout and highlights the breadth and depth of artistic talent and skill in Ireland today.

This year’s programme will include a suite of lectures on Saturday, the 9th and Sunday, the 10th of September from 3-4:30pm, by artists Eileen MacDonagh and Conall O’Caoimh and renowned plantsman, Jimi Blake, as well as guided tours of the outdoor sculptures on Saturdays at 11am.

The winners of this year’s Awards will be announced at the opening on 6 September and the winners’ exhibits will be on display throughout the Gardens for the duration of the exhibition.