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Kildare County Council Arts Service


'Hidden Wonders of Kildare', publication launch, Friday 4th December 2009

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The Mayor of County Kildare, Councillor Colm Purcell with special guest Luka Bloom launched the 'Hidden Wonders of Kildare' - a new publication documenting a Kildare County Council 'Critical Debate and Public Art Project' in the Nás na Ríogh community centre in Naas on Friday 4th December.

The launch was attended by many of the nominators and their families, local historians, Kildare County Council staff and other interested parties.

The Mayor acknowledged the Nás na Ríogh development as one of the ‘Hidden Wonders’ and Kildare County Councils’ commitment to the development such that the local authority used its own capital fund to enable the project to progress in 2009.

The ‘Hidden Wonders of Kildare ’ project invited nominations of ‘Hidden Wonders’ from inhabitants, workers and visitors of Kildare in an aim to find, acknowledge and raise the profile of their hidden wonders that are particularly unique to Kildare.

Initiated by Public Art Co-ordinator, Rina Whyte and facilitated by artist Rowena Keaveny, ‘Hidden Wonders of Kildare’ attracted 60 nominations from approximately 40 people.  Nominations varied from places of tranquillity such as the Curragh Plains, to pubs such as ‘Roches’ of Donadea (the sinking pub!), Nepalese and Traveller culture in Kildare, many historic buildings and the story of the Wren Women on The Curragh.  Nominators included artists, local historians, school children, voluntary organisations and other interested parties.

The project has now been documented in photography, personalised quotations and portraits in the publication 'Hidden Wonders of Kildare' which is available from  Rina Whyte 045 448316


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Kildare County Councils Public Art Programme

Element, Athy Fire Station Neighbours, Coarsemoor Housing Estate, Straffan From Here to There, From There to Here Little Things, Rathangan
Pepetual Motion Siren, Naas Fire Station Securus Race Of The Black Pig
Oisín Caught in the Time Warp Raised Spirit Lord Edward Fitzgerald Italian Garden
My Butterfly Home "Home" Portraits from Cloche Rince   Garden of the Blue Dog   the Fabulous Green Cat Web.jpg  
Sphishing.JPG   Naas Pool thumb.jpg   1098 thumb 2.jpg    

More to Follow

Public Art in Kildare

Public Art provides an important medium for telling a story, recording history, creating identity and expressing what it is to be human - evoking and provoking discussion, creating connections and helping to make sense of our rapidly changing lives. Without the Arts, there would be no quality of life.

The term public art refers to art in all its disciplines such as dance, music, poetry, visual arts, theatre, film etc. integrated into the built, natural, urban or rural environment. Public Art aims to instil animation, enliven and improve a public environment for the benefit of all who use and who will use it.

Public Art is not one single artform, it is a principle of improving the changing environment through the arts and is a term given to the practice of involving artists in the conception, development and transformation of and for a public space.

Successful public art is work that empathises and resonates with the site, the context and its audience. It creates an opportunity for the range of people using the site to engage with the artwork, the artist and each other.

Public Art Programme 2007 - 2008:

  • 'Securus' - % for Art Scheme piece for Eaton Meadows, Leixlip Housing scheme by Tony O'Malley
  • Bishopsland - % for Art Scheme by Colm Brennan
  • Clane -% for Art Scheme by Eamonn O'Doherty
  • 'Neighbours' - % for Art Scheme piece for Coarsemoor Housing Scheme, Straffan by Aileen Ann Brannigan
  • 'Italian Garden' - % for Art Scheme for Gaelic View, Kill Housing Scheme
  • 'My Butterfly Home' - a Public Art piece for Newbridge Public Art Trail, situated in the Riverbank Arts Centre by Sinead McGeeney
  • 'Transitopia' - a Public Art piece curated by Mark Durkan and Mary Jo Gilligan
  • The Roundabout project - a series of Public Art works for three roundabouts in Kildare by Greenmantle
  • Naas Swimming Pool - % for Art Scheme, a glass piece by Annabel Konnig
  • Athy Swimming Pool - % for Art Scheme
  • Kilmeade - % for Art Scheme by Declan Breen
  • Kilmeage - % for Art Scheme by Martin Heron
  • 'Garden of the blue dog' - % for Art Scheme for Collogh Knock Glebe, Kildare by Declan Breen


Rina Whyte, Public Art Co ordinator, KildareCOCO

Read about the Per Cent For Art Scheme


Kildare County Council's Public Art Policy 2009 - 2011

Public Art Policy Click to download. Size 1.9MB

Requires Adobe reader. Available free from

Hidden Wonders

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The project can be viewed at

As part of Kildare County Council’s Critical Debate in the Arts series, artist Rowena Keaveny has devised a Public Art project entitled ‘Hidden Wonders’.  The project firstly aims to capture the hidden aspects of the county as personally nominated by citizens, employees or visitors to Kildare.

In recognition of the transitional yet changing landscape of County Kildare, the project will then acknowledge and publicly profile the ‘Hidden Wonders’ that remain rural, hidden and sometimes overlooked.  This may take the form of a publication, exhibition, website and signage as suits the nature of the nominations received.

Nominations for a favourite view, a tranquil walk, a person, a building, a pub, a park, even a bus stop that is unique to Kildare can be emailed to Rowena Keaveny at by the 17th July 2009.

To download the nomination form click here