A little bit of monkey magic shows how art can liven up a city’s dead space

On a little corner of Dublin, Art Lot, a derelict space, is managing to hold its own as an open air public exhibition space

There’s plenty of debate about vacant space these days, especially when it comes to how it could be used for creative and cultural endeavours. Well, on a little corner of Dublin, where Harcourt Road and South Richmond Street meet, Art Lot, a derelict space, is managing to hold its own as an open air public exhibition space.

Walk past it during the day time at the moment, and you'll be confronted by a bizarre collection of shiny brown sculptures. Are they human or are they dancer? Are they gorilla or are they prancer? Walk past it at night, and the space comes alive in a surreal and creepy way (see Dance Like Nobody's Watching by Tara Whelan), with lights flashing and the sculptures reflected in installed mirrors.

Art Lot Dublin is a project that has featured a rolling number of exhibitions for over a year. There have been photos from a teenage skateboard photographer, exhibitions of light, abstract sculpture, and performance art.

The latest exhibition is by Sandra Davoren. Davoren’s work is “driven by ideas that stem from zoomorphism” according to Art Lot’s website, and creates a sort of mash-up of animalistic and humanoid beings, the results of which here slide from curious Neanderthal to vicious gorilla. While you wouldn’t call it pretty, it certainly is striking.


Art Lot is just a tiny little patch of the city, but it does make you think how much more animated our streets, corners, walls and paths could become if more experimental public art filled the gaps that developers have left, or that dereliction has caused.

For more on the project, check out artlotdublin.wordpress.com.