Kildare Arts Service : Public Art : Public Art Entries : Perpetual motion

Perpetual Motion


Perpetual Motion 317x448

History of the project
Following discussions with Mr. J.A Carrick, County Engineer it was agreed that a competition would be held under the Department of Environment’s 1% Scheme for a site specific public sculpture to be located at Nass By-Pass, to be funded at the ceiling level of £20,000, and that the Sculptors Society of Ireland would be engaged as the agents to manage the process.

A National Open Competition was held in accordance with E.U. directives and the Code of Practice for the Commissioning of Art for Public Places.  An open, two-stage, anonymous competition was advertised nationally and a panel of five assessors were nominated for the selection process – Two representatives from Kildare County Council and one representative each from The Arts Council, the Sculptors Society of Ireland, and the Association of Artists in Ireland.

Following a site meeting at Naas in July 1993 some thirty artists submitted proposals for Stage 1 of the competition.  Four proposals were short-listed for Stage II of the competition where more detailed and highly developed plans (maquette, budgetary breakdown, technical specifications and planned implementation) were examined. 

It was the unanimous decision of the judges that the piece “Perpetual Motion” was the most suitable and relevant Artwork for the site and it was thereby chosen as the winner.  It was subsequently learnt that the artists Remco de Fouw and Rachael Joynt had jointly submitted this piece.

Artists’ statement
A hollow, ferrocement sphere, approximately 9 meters in diameter.  The colour and texture of the sphere would be similar to a road surface and the various road markings depicted would be painted with a similar substance to that of actual roadmarkings.

Due to the large scale and position of the site it is important that the sculpture is in keeping with, and not diminished by, the scale; that it works equally well from all angles and that it is most effective from some distance.

The road arrows suggest the movement of air water currents over the surface of a globe and follow the main flow of traffic towards Dublin, across the bridge and particularly along the turn off for Naas.  This emphasises the town’s geographical position in relation to the motorway.

As an element symbol of motion, a sphere of this size with roadmarkings, would act as an impressive yet integrated celebration of travel and motorway design.  It would appeal to a broad cross-section of roadusers and be a lighthearted and distinctive landmark.

About the Artist

Remco de Fouw holds an honours degree in Fine Art Sculpture from the National College of Art & Design.  He has exhibited at several prestigious shows including EV A, R.H.A., ESPACE, Oireachtas and Aer Riannta’s Gateway to Art.  He has won awards from the Arts Council, IONTAS, and the Donal O’Morchada Travel award.  Previous commissions include sculptures for the Highschool, Rathgar 1990 and Waterford Regional Hospital 192.  

Rachael Joynt graduated with first class honours in sculpture from the National College of Art & Design.  She has exhibited in several group shows including ESPACE, Oireachtas and Fernhill’s Sculpture in Context, and she has had solo exhibitions at the Project Arts Centre and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Gallery in Belfast.  Commissions include People’s Island at D’Olier St., for the Dublin Millennium, Solas na Glasrai at Moore St. and Wood Quay Walk, Winetavern St. for Dublin Corporation and a sculpture at the Visitor’s Centre, Kilrush, Co. Clare for the O.P.W..  She has work in several collections including Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Temple Bar Properties.

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Perpetual Motion – Face Lift 2009

Public Art Co-ordinator: Rina Whyte

After over thirteen years of exposure to the elements and after many remarks of it’s need for a ‘makeover’, ‘Perpetual Motion’ or ‘the ball at Naas’ has had a facelift.

The iconic monument is visible to traffic on the main M7 Motorway heading north and south of the country. It’s arrows and road markings follow and symbolize the motion of traffic on the nearby roads. They also suggest the movement of the winds and ocean currents over the surface of the earth – a planet in perpetual motion.

It’s designer’s Remco De Fouw and Rachel Joynt were on board to advise Kildare County Council and the maintenance contractors SMS Ltd. of preparations, application, surface treatment and colour building for the artwork.

Perpetual Motion was originally commissioned as a Per Cent for Art project in 1996 by the National Roads Authority and Kildare County Council.


perpetual motion before 225x225 perpetual motion after 225x225


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