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

Posted on August 21, 2019

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’s 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, 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 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 24 karats gold leaf, and playing on the theme of light. 

Announcing details of the sculpture today (21.08.19), Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said: “Following a competitive process, Sandra Bell has been commissioned to create this Teachers Inspire sculpture.  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.”

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.”


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