Unique Light Installation Illuminates the stories of Cork’s Past, Present, and Future 

The final installation of Island City, Cork’s Urban Sculpture Trail has been unveiled. Tempus Futurum by Brian Kenny is a light projection on the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork City, that takes viewers on a journey through the building’s rich history.

The remarkable, digitally mapped, moving image artwork is projected onto the South Main Street façade of the Georgian building, which is over 300 years old. Each evening from dusk, the captivating 10-minute looped moving visuals are projected for all to enjoy.

Tempus Futurum is inspired by the motto “A society thrives when elders plant trees under whose shade they’ll never rest.” It delves into past, present, and an imminent future, exploring human impact on the environment. Scenes link human actions to nature’s fate, with input from local school children who envision the building’s future, sparking hope. The interactive finale reflects sustainability, showcasing the link between human choices and nature’s balance. It’s a reflection on the city’s growth, urging people to consider today’s impact on tomorrow’s landscapes.

Brian Kenny, Video Artist and Projection Mapping specialist said “I was really inspired by the history of the Triskel building and connecting that with the local environment while looking to the future. The projection begins with images of pristine forests untouched by humanity, and moves on to the Celts’ arrival, marking the dawn of cultivation and the origin of the city. It moves on to Viking and Norman structures that showcase the ebbs and flows of civilization. Vignettes highlight the impact of climate change and show the connection between human actions and the environmental consequences. 

“We worked with 50 local children from St Maries of Isle National School, thanks to the support from Aoife O’Connell, to get their ideas on the future of the Triskel building. The interactive finale mirrors hope, responding to sustainable practices. We are using real-time live data of bike usage from a nearby bike station to power the blossoming foliage in the projection. This emphasizes the harmony between human choices and nature’s endurance. Our aim with this work is to mirror the relationship that the people of Cork have with their city and its evolution. We hope that it highlights the lasting impact of today’s actions, urging introspection and emphasizing our role in shaping tomorrow’s landscapes.”

Tempus Futurum is created by Brian Kenny with animators Carla Soriani, Thiago Oliviera and Alfredo Espeche, along with creative technologists Tom O’Dea and Lucas Lupo. 

It is the finale in a unique cultural trail of five contemporary sculptures installed around Cork City this year that aims to integrate art into the daily life of the city, making it accessible to all. The complete trail includes Sentinels on Carey’s Lane, Boom Nouveau on Cook St, The Face Cup on the corner of Princes St and Oliver Plunkett St, and Urban Mirror on Cornmarket Street. The four sculptures were commissioned after a competitive process, supported by the National Sculpture Factory, while Tempus Futurum was chosen through an open call process.

 Island City, Cork’s Urban Sculpture Trail is a Cork City Council project 100% funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Urban Animation Scheme.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Kieran McCarthy, said,

“The final installation, Tempus Futurum, is a reflection of the heritage and history of one of the city’s oldest buildings.  It is known that a building has existed on the site of Christ Church for nearly a thousand years.  During this enormous amount of time the site has always been a space to gather people to reflect upon life and society in the emerging city of Cork. We invite everyone to experience this captivating installation and artwork and reflect upon the building’s role in shaping not only the history of this great city but also the future of our city and its rich cultural heritage and arts sector.” 

Island City, Cork’s Urban Sculpture Trail is a Cork City Council project funded by Fáilte Ireland under the Urban Animation Scheme, with commissioning support by National Sculpture Factory.

To learn more about Island City, go to www.corkcity.ie/islandcity or follow @IslandCityCorkSculpture on Instagram.