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Artist Emma Bourke Commissioned by daa for the 2019 Awards Sculpture

Mayo based artist Emma Bourke, Vincent Harrison, Managing Director, Dublin Airport and Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts unveil 'Symbiotic', this years limited edition awards sculpture commissioned by daa for the 28th year. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Mayo based artist Emma Bourke, Vincent Harrison, Managing Director, Dublin Airport and Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts unveil ‘Symbiotic’, this years limited edition awards sculpture commissioned by daa for the 28th year. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Each year daa generously commission an artist to create a suite of sculptures which are awarded to the Allianz Business to Arts Awards winning companies. The commission is now in its 28th year. This year, Mayo based glass artist Emma Bourke was commissioned to create the 2019 limited edition awards sculpture, ‘Symbiotic’.

Speaking about her piece, Emma said,

‘An awareness of our heritage is essential to understand our identity and to contextualise our cultures. My research into botanical mythology helps me appreciate how communities have developed. It enables me to construct a sense of place within increasingly international systems of communication and visual information.

‘Symbiotic’, a new work created for the Allianz Business to Arts Awards, refers to the complex relationship between people and plants. Essential to successful ecosystems, a rapport between the two allows both to thrive: from seed migration to cultivation to medicinal uses; from local to global contexts. Successful ecologies emerge, with people working together to develop results.

The bond between people and plants forms the basis of many tales and customs handed down through the ages: from the Foxglove’s association to fairies to a bride carrying her bouquet. Storytelling has commonly been used to pass on knowledge about plants through generations of people and my research for ‘Symbiotic’ draws upon this as my main resource.

‘Symbiotic’ is based on a wild flower known as Scarlet Pimpernel, a notorious poisonous plant that has traditional uses for treatment of the liver, jaundice, dropsy and depression. This bright, pretty plant which brings joy and eases pain is dangerous if used incorrectly, so it bears an abhorrent reputation. Drawing inspiration from Scarlet Pimpernel’s combination of beauty, danger and healing coinciding in one plant, I designed the flowers in Symbiotic using a similar pattern of five petals with golden stamen.

I took a scientific approach when creating the petals and branches in glass, to scrutinise the physicality, scale and fragility of the original Scarlet Pimpernel plant. Recreating the physical form of the plant in another material, such as glass, is another way to pass down information about a plant. ‘Symbiotic’ is made from two materials only: glass and wood. Both materials are timeless and sustainable, it’s important to me that I create works that exist both then and now; that speak both of our history and presence in 2019.’

If you would like to book tickets for this event, please complete the booking form here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Allianz Business to Arts Awards team.

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