Irish Times – 22nd August 2019
An inspirational sculpture
Sir, – What a great gesture by Dublin City University to commission a Sandra Bell sculpture on behalf of teachers in Irish society (Julien Behal photograph, page 4, August 22nd). Míle buíochas dóibh! I’ve been a teacher and principal for most of my adult life and I’m delighted we have a beautiful image dedicated to us, the educators of Ireland’s children.
Sandra Bell’s work always hits the nail on the head. Her Rhythm and Rhyme sculpture sited in Earl Street, Dundalk is an enlargement of the sculpture presented to President Bill Clinton and his family when they visited the area in December 2002, just four years after the Belfast Agreement. In his speech when presented with the sculpture he said: “I can tell you nothing – nothing – will compare to the gift Ireland gives to the World if you make peace here permanent. You can give people all over the world desperately needed hope and proof that peace can prevail; that the past is history, not destiny. That is what I came to ask you to redouble your efforts to do.” His speech was a reference mainly to extremists parliamentary groups – that they should join up and not wreck hopes.
Let us try to make this sentiment a reality and not just a sculpture. No one in the world has a right to interfere with people’s peace. A simple message I know, but any fool will know that borders in countries just don’t work.
Sandra Bell’s new sculpture Teachers Inspire is aptly titled – how about another creative work in the Bell pipeline that might merit the title Global Politicians Inspire? – Yours etc,
Howth, Co Dublin.
Dublin People – 29th September 2019
Teacher’s Tribute To Be Cast By Bell
ONE of Ireland’s best-known contemporary sculptors has been commissioned by Dublin City University (DCU) to create a sculpture inspired by the work of teachers.
Sandra Bell’s sculpture will be placed in the grounds of DCU’s St Patrick’s Campus in Drumcondra as a permanent symbol of DCU’s Teachers Inspire Ireland initiative.
Launched earlier this year with the support of businessman and philanthropist Dermot Desmond, Teachers Inspire is focused on highlighting the enormous contribution made by teachers in Irish society.
Over May and June, DCU called for members of the public to share their personal stories of how a teacher transformed their lives or their community.
Stories were shared from all over Ireland, and four teachers, one from each province, will be recognised at a gala event later this year, at which they will receive ‘Desmond Awards’, which are cast bronze replicas of the full sized sculpture.
The sculpture itself will be created by Bell over the next six months and will be unveiled by DCU in May next year as part of the launch of the second year of Teachers Inspire.
The work is a figurative cast-bronze sculpture, incorporating 24 karats gold leaf, and playing on the theme of light.
“Following a competitive process, Sandra Bell has been commissioned to create this Teachers Inspire sculpture,” confirmed Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU.
“We felt her winning proposal captured the essence and vision of the overall Teachers Inspire Ireland initiative.
“We look forward to working with Sandra in the coming months to create a piece of public art that symbolises the hugely valuable contribution of teachers across Ireland, and the transformative role they play in the lives of their students and wider communities.”
Bell said it was a great honour to be part of a project that gives recognition to the wonderful work teachers do.
“My sculpture will play on the theme of light because our teachers have been an inspiration and a leading light in our lives for so many years,” she continued.
“My sculpture also represents the nurturing of a young mind, depicting a teacher and a student sharing a book, which emanates the light of inspiration and learning from within.
“The figures are protecting and nurturing the light that emanates from the book and reflects on their faces.
“I am excited to get started on this project, and I look forward to unveiling the finished sculpture early next year – as a permanent symbol of the hugely inspirational work done by teachers every day.”