Bulfin exhibition opens at Áras an Chontae

OFFALY artist Michael Bulfin, creator of the Sky Train sculpture at Lough Boora, has a new exhibition of paintings which opened at Aras an Chontae last Monday night.

OFFALY artist Michael Bulfin, creator of the Sky Train sculpture at Lough Boora, has a new exhibition of paintings which opened at Aras an Chontae last Monday night.

“Offaly County Council are delighted to host an exhibition of new work by renowned Irish artist Michael Bulfin,” said Arts Officer Sinead O’Reilly.

Originally from Derrinlough near Birr, Bulfin has had an illustrious career as an artist. Born in 1939, he was educated in Birr and at University College Dublin and in Environmental Science at Yale University in the US. He was chosen to represent Ireland at the Paris Biennale in 1971.

He held solo shows, of both paintings and sculpture, in the Project Arts Centres at Abbey Street and South King Street. Since then his work has appeared in many group exhibitions including the Irish Exhibition of Living Art (1966-75), Oireachtas Exhibition, Independent Artists, The Irish Imagination, Boston and Dublin; Aos Óg, Paris (1973); Cork ROSC (1980); A Sense of Ireland, London (1980); many Sculptor Society of Ireland exhibitions (1980 - 92, Skulptur Biennale, King’s Garden, Copenhagen (1990); Parable Island, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool (1991) and many Arts Festival exhibitions around Ireland.

He is an environmental scientist and his expertise in this area has led him to produce permanent works in the area of Land Art. He has contributed pieces to several environmental art and land art sculpture symposiums, including: West Cork Sculpture Trail; Slate Quarries Sculpture Symposium, Kilkenny; Kraakamarken, Art in Nature, Aarhus, Denmark; Castlewellan Forest Park, Northern Ireland; Tir Saile - Mayo 5000 - Sculpture Symposium; Sculpture in Woodland, at Devil’s Glen, Co. Wicklow and most recently Lough Boora Sculpture in the Parklands in Offaly.

He has won a number of public art open sculpture competitions including Bank of Ireland Baggot Street, Castlebar Roundabout, and South Dublin County Council Offices, Tallaght. Monaghan GS HQ (now moved to the new HQ of the OPW at Trim Co. Meath.

His competition winning piece “A Walk Among Stone” in Ballymun, Dublin, won the Concrete Society of Ireland Sculpture Award in 1990.

He has acted on the organising committees of many arts organisations including the Living Art Exhibition, Independent Artists, OASIS open air sculpture exhibition, Merrion Square; Mayo 5000 Sculpture Symposium; Devil’s Glen Sculpture Symposium, Co Wicklow.

He became a member of the committee of Project Arts Centre in 1967 and was Chairman of Project Arts Centre 1972–76 establishing Project in its current home in Essex Street. He was a member of the Sculptors Society from 1980 and was elected Chairman in 1983. He continued in this position until 1991 helping the Society to run the first European International Sculpture Conference in 1988 and participated in the successful campaign to establish the official Percent for Art programme.

He is a member of the Board of Dublin Corporation Public Art Advisory Committee; the Fire Station Artist’s Studio Board and the Board of the National Sculpture Factory, Cork. Bulfin was elected a foundation and life member of Aosdana. (Aosdana the organisation set up by the State through the Arts Council to “honour those artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland”).