Perpetua, winner of the Best Use of Creativity in the Community at the Business to Arts Awards, 2019.

The winner of the Best Use of Creativity in the Community Award at the Business to Arts Awards brought vibrancy to the community of Smithfield with a unique work of public art that combined traditional artistic skills with modern technology.

“Perpetua was a perfect fit for us, as we wanted to support a local studio in presenting their work. The piece itself was at such a scale that it enriched the area through its existence. On top of that, it was an interesting exploration of how art and technology can come together to create a deeper level of interactivity in a large-scale work.” – Sorcha McCabe, head of workplace, Rothco/

“As a local community interacts with a piece of public art, it gives them a sense of ownership over it and gives people a greater sense of togetherness as they interact with it collectively. For us, Perpetua was also a case study. We wanted to show people that this was possible and are currently working to build on its success by exploring how we could develop a festival of light in the Smithfield area.” – Kevin Freeney, founder and creative director, Algorithm.

Last March, people in the Smithfield area of Dublin had the opportunity to experience Ireland’s first ever interactive 3D projection-mapped mural as a piece of art. Called Perpetua, this was a collaboration between Algorithm and artist James Earley and supported by a number of local stakeholders in the area, including Rothco, which is part of Accenture Interactive. One of the windows of the Rothco building was turned into an interactive touch screen, allowing the audience to touch and manipulate the piece through an additional layer of live generated animations.

Algorithm had worked on a number of smaller projects with Earley and together they wanted to explore how the skills and techniques from both of their worlds could come together to create a singular piece. Earley has a family history in stained glass that often inspired his work and this was the ideal reference point for the project – stained glass being an original medium for playing with colour and light combined with Algorithm’s contemporary use of colour and light in its digital design, animation and projection mapping work.

There were 200 people at the launch night, which was hosted by Rothco. Over the course of the next few days there was a constant flow of people around the piece. In a single night the piece achieved 13,000 shares on one Instagram post and there were over 30,000 social media interactions in total about Perpetua.

A key aspect of the project was to engage stakeholders in improving their local area. In addition to Rothco, the businesses which gave their support were Linders of Smithfield, Michael Staines Solicitors, the Maldron Hotel, Jameson and ETTS.

“Smithfield has a strong local history and as the area develops it is important that we find ways to relate the new to the old. Art and creativity have a unique way of doing this, as public art is not exclusive, it is for everyone. The night-time element of Perpetua also created a pro-social atmosphere around Haymarket Square,” says Sorcha McCabe, head of workplace, Rothco.

Design by New Graphic.