Sandra Bell Sculpture


Wednesday, 21st August 2019

Sandra Bell commissioned by DCU to create ‘Teachers Inspire’ sculpture

Sandra Bell, one of Ireland’s best-known contemporary sculptors, has been commissioned by Dublin City University (DCU) to create a significant new public sculpture inspired by the work of teachers.  

The sculpture will be placed in the grounds of DCU St. Patrick’s Campus in Drumcondra as a permanent symbol of DCU’s Teachers Inspire Ireland initiative, which is focused on highlighting the enormous contribution made by teachers in Irish society. 

DCU launched Teachers Inspire earlier this year, with the support of businessman and philanthropist Dermot Desmond.  Over May and June, DCU called for members of the public to share their personal stories of how a teacher transformed their lives and / or their community.  Stories were shared from all over Ireland, and four teachers will be recognised at a gala event later this year, at which they will receive ‘Desmond Awards’ that replicate Sandra Bell’s design for the Teachers Inspire sculpture.

The sculpture itself will be created by Ms. Bell over the next six months, and will be unveiled by DCU in May of next year, as part of the launch of the second year of Teachers Inspire.  It is a figurative cast-bronze sculpture, incorporating stainless steel and reinforced concrete, and playing on the theme of light.  

Announcing details of the sculpture today (21.08.19), Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said: “Sandra Bell has been commissioned to create this Teachers Inspire sculpture, following a competitive process.  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 inspirational role they play in the lives of their students and wider communities.”

Sandra Bell said: “It is a great honour to be part of a project that gives recognition to the wonderful work our 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.  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.”


Contact: Niamh Breathnach / Martina Quinn, Alice PR & Events, Tel: 01-5582151 / 085-1461231 / 087-6522033

Notes to Editor:

About Sandra Bell

Sandra Bell is a fulltime professional sculptor, working in stainless steel and cast bronze.  Over the course of her career, she has had 16 solo gallery exhibitions and completed 20 large site-specific commissions.  Her work features in the collections of Bill Clinton, the Ulster Museum, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Wexford County Museum, Cork County Council, and the Russian Embassy in Dublin, amongst others.  Further information is available at:  

About Teachers Inspire

Teachers Inspire Ireland is an initiative of Dublin City University, Ireland’s fastest growing university and home to the country’s first university Faculty of Teacher Education, the Institute of Education. Teachers Inspire Ireland is under the auspices of DCU Educational Trust and facilitated by philanthropic donation.  Further information is available at:


Twitter: @TeachersInspIE

Instagram: @teachersinspireireland