Dublin Airport says its passengers can “experience Ireland” through a number of striking art installations that form part of its Sense of Place project. The latest piece – ‘Light Years’ – explores the country’s magnificent natural heritage and landscape. Jason Holland reports.

The ‘Light Years’ mural shows "how light and travel work together in the beauty of a bird in flight", says artist James Earley.

Time and light are intrinsically linked; light links our past to our present and our future.

That’s the concept behind Dublin Airport’s latest art installation – a mural entitled ‘Light Years’ by renowned artist James Earley. Originally a graffiti artist, Earley has been producing abstracted figurative works since 2010.

The artwork, which can be enjoyed by passengers transiting between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, is the seventh installation in the airport’s Sense of Place project, which aims to bring different facets of Ireland to passengers “even if they are connecting at Dublin and never leave the airport”.

Painting a picture: James Earley was originally a graffiti artist and has been producing abstracted figurative works since 2010.

Other installations include ‘Vibrant Irish Light’, an eye-catching spectrum of rainbow colours located between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, ‘Irish Wildlife’ in Pier 2, and ‘All In A Name’ at the South Gates. [See video below for more information on some of these installations.]

“Both individually and collectively these installations transform the visual landscape of Dublin Airport for our passengers,” says Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.

Harrison thinks the latest addition will be enjoyed and appreciated by passengers and by airport staff. “Dublin Airport provides the first welcome and last goodbye to Ireland for tens of millions of people every year and 'Light Years’ successfully gives a sense of Ireland’s rich artistic heritage and beauty,” he says.

'Vibrant Irish Light' presents viewers with a spectrum of rainbow colours.

Experience Ireland at the airport: The Sense of Place installations enhance the visual environment for passengers.

Artist Earley explains that the mural was inspired by “a modern Ireland, an Ireland in which we take pride in our rich artistic, family and natural heritage and develop and preserve it, taking it to new and exciting places, promoting our island globally and reinforcing the fact that Ireland has been, is and will always be a centre of artistic excellence”.

The mural shows how light and travel work together in the magnificence and beauty of a bird in flight, he says. The seagull is used as a symbol of the natural heritage of Ireland and the beauty of the Irish landscape is reflected in the colours of the piece.

“It’s amazing to have been given the opportunity to showcase a piece of my work to such a large audience,” Earley adds.

The ‘All In A Name’ exhibition celebrates Irish names, their origin and the real-life stories of the people behind them. Watch the video below for more.

Earley’s distinctive style celebrates and pays homage to his family's artistic past within Irish stained-glass art. The family business, Earley and Co. Studios, dates back to 1852 and dominated Dublin’s stained-glass scene for decades.

He has been producing artworks in public spaces since 1997 and is well known for a number of his previous works. In 2014, he painted Blooms Hotel in Dublin’s Temple Bar, for example. The project took one year to complete and is the largest public artwork in Ireland to date.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Issue 251 | 12 November 2018