Cuimhní Cinn, Ebonised Irish Oak with stainless steel and 23.5 carrot gold leaf at the Memory Garden in Sisk HQ. Credit Fran Morrin

Cuimhní Cinn, Ebonised Irish Oak with stainless steel and 23.5 carrot gold leaf at the Memory Garden in Sisk HQ. Credit Fran Morrin

In April 2021 Emmet Kane, a woodturner and maker from Kildare, was invited by John Sisk & Son to create a new sculptural piece in memory of Dave Tracey, the former manager of the John G Sisk Training Centre. It was the first time that Sisk had developed a creative partnership, and offered the staff a way to engage with a new creative process from start to finish. The staff and trainees discovered new skills and techniques, which encouraged them to think in new ways about the materials.

For judge Bevin Cody, Corporate Reputation Manager with ESB, this collaboration gets to the heart of the Award. ‘It combined the creativity and talent of the artist with the skills and values of Sisk’s employees and apprentices to create a really beautiful tribute to the former manager of the training centre and all those who have been part of Sisk’s history over the decades. Through the collaboration, staff and apprentices gained a deeper understanding of the creative process and how the skills they have developed in the construction sector can be applied in a more creative context to beautiful effect.’

Not only were the Sisk staff involved in the creation of the final piece, the team in the training centre participated in every stage of the project from sourcing and fixing the stainless steel, designing the steel to hold the sculpture in place, the engraving of the Ogham, and assembling and erecting of the final sculpture. In honour of Dave Tracey’s memory the sculpture, entitled ‘Cuimhní Cinn’ was created from Irish Oak that grew in Maynooth Co.Kildare where he lived. Emmet sculpted the piece in his studio in Castledermot before transporting it to the training centre to be finished in collaboration with the team. Emmet’s heritage as a fifth-generation craftsperson and someone with experience in the construction industry meant that he was able to communicate with the team in both a practical and artistic way, making the partnership all the richer.

Design by New Graphic.