Crater to be focal point of Cork art installation


A HANDFUL of guests are set to experience the lighting up of a unique artist-developed crater set in grounds of a west Cork estate next week.

The restored crater is the focal point of the Irish Sky Garden at Liss Ard estate in Skibbereen, originally developed in the early 1990s at a cost of £400,000.

Designed by American artist James Turrell, the crater is an oval-shaped installation that measures 25m at its longest point and dips to almost 13m from the rim to its lowest depth.

A series of strategic lights placed at points along a tunnel entrance to the crater and within the cavity will be lit for the public for the first time in 10 years next week.

The redevelopment works form part of a restoration of the Irish Sky Garden within the estate, a 200-acre lakeside country mansion with a colourful history.

“The artist originally designed the crater to be lit, but 10 years ago during older restoration works the connection to the cables was cut,” said Liss Ard estate manager Arthur Little.

The man-made hollow is accessed via a dark concrete tunnel flanked by Liscannor stone, featuring a white marble stone that reflects the light from the rim of the crater during the day.

The design is based on a birthing scenario, where visitors walk through the dark tunnel into the light.

“It’s about rebirth and optimism, its experiential and it nurtures the desire to walk towards the light [into the crater]. It evokes powerful reactions in people,” Mr Little said.

At night, an artificial light in the marble guides visitors to the entrance, where a series of steps lead to the crater itself.

“There are so many different elements to this as an art installation and when you introduce light to it on a dark night it changes the whole experience,” Mr Little said.