Kildare Arts Service : Public Art : Public Art Entries : The amazing tale of the fabulous green cat

The Amazing Tale of the Fabulous Green Cat


Fabulous Green Cat 400x300

Project: ‘The Amazing Tale of the Fabulous Green Cat’

Artist: Declan Breen, commissioned under the Per Cent for Art Scheme

Public Art Co-ordinator: Rina Whyte

Year of installation: 2008

Medium: Stainless Steel and Bronze

Location: Moate View, Kilmeade, Co. Kildare

About the artist:
Declan Breen is a Wexford based Sculptor, he graduated from The National College of Art and Design in 1979. Declan returned to Wexford in 1983 and was prominent in the setting up of the Wexford Sculpture Workshops where he had a studio until 1995. His work has been exhibited extensively throughout Ireland, commissioned works include site specific sculptors for The 1798 Centre, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford, Belgooly, Co.Cork, Clifden Co. Galway, Waterford Regional Hospital and Per Cent for Art works for many County Councils throughout the country.

About the project – from the artist:
My work unfolds horizontally and deals with the interrelationship of objects within a given space; it also invites interaction from the viewer as they move through that space, it becomes a synthesis of the placement of objects, design and the use of materials to enhance and define the qualities of the site, a means of turning space in place. When you move through and occupy a defined space, you become the subject matter of the sculpture. People being in the space with the objects complete the artwork.

‘The Amazing Tale of the Fabulous Green Cat’ consists of two bronze elements, the cat sitting on the sphere and a dog, both life-size and two stainless steel benches in the shape of curved directional arrows on a paved square the centre of which marks the path linking the two sides of the estate on the green space opposite the playground. Six trees flank the lower portion of the sculpture and path, three on either side.
- The arrows while facilitating somewhere to sit visually create a centrifugal force that disrupts and slows down the through movement of the path. The square is angled to the same purpose.
- The cat on the sphere is perhaps the central piece of the sculpture, the sphere works as part circus act and also lifts the cat to child’s eye level. The sphere acts as a pivot anchoring the circular movement of the arrows. There is a story here somewhere, why would a green cat be sitting on a big blue ball?
- The dog sits looking in from the path outside the square; I like to think somewhat detached from the antics of the cat on the ball. Aside from the dramatic implications of placing the dog outside the square it prevents the sculpture becoming a self contained entity and allows it to ‘leak’ out into the wider space.
- By spreading the sculpture out horizontally it allows people in to become part of the story especially toys, bikes, items of clothing left lying around, real pets, etc create a dynamic that adds to the space. A kid’s bike left lying in the middle of the space does not diminish the sculpture rather it enhances it.
- The chequerboard paving pattern, at the heart of which is a cross re-establishes the right angle axis of the green space.
- The trees are planted parallel with the path and serve a similar function, they also frame the sculpture, opening up and closing down the space as one moves up and down the path.