The Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen
A touring public artwork by Jim Ricks
Launched August 2010, Touring June 2011 –
Originally touring the Aughty regions of County Galway; Various locations in Ireland
First supported by the Galway County Council
“The best public art piece... ever.”
– Alice Maher, Artist
"We need to start thinking more creatively about public art. Jim Ricks has. On Tuesday he launches Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen in Galway. The public artwork, which toured Galway and Clare last summer, will travel around the Slieve Aughty region for two weeks before appearing close to the real Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren on June 21— the summer solstice. Ricks, a Californian artist, describes it as “a bouncy replica, at twice the scale of the famous 6,000-year-old megalithic portal tomb". It is commentary on our past, our present, the concept of "brand Ireland" and the very idea of public art; and everyone is invited to bounce.
A temporary, moveable, witty, interactive, contemporary public artwork we are invited to play with? Maher has endorsed it as “the best public art piece…ever". She might just be right."
– Christín Leach, The Sunday Times
“The artist has combined an icon of ancient Ireland with an icon of contemporary Ireland, playfully re-presenting elements of Irish culture, often over-used commercially to attract tourism, in an accessible, witty, and visually arresting way.”
– Kernan Andrews, Galway Advertiser
The Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen by Jim Ricks is a monumental inflatable sculpture designed for members of the public, of all ages, to interact with. The artwork toured venues around the Aughty Region of County Galway during June of 2011. The Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen is a replica of, at twice the scale, the famous 6,000 year old megalithic portal tomb of the same name, which is located in the Burren, Co. Clare. Ricks created the interactive soft sculpture with the intention of bringing a portal dolmen to Aughty, a region which has no dolmens, only wedge tombs.
The official tour launch of The Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen was on June 7th, 2011 in front of the Huntsman Inn in Galway. It then toured the Slieve Aughty region of Galway for 2 weeks. The tour closed with an afternoon appearance adjacent to the real Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren. The piece was featured in the Royal Hibernian Academy for Futures 12 in the autumn of 2012. The work continues to be shown in various locations around Ireland.
This project was first supported by the Galway County Council. Special thanks to the Clare County Council Arts Office and Dublin City Parks.
Thanks also to Jeremy Deller, his team, and Sally Shaw for making possible the first ever Megalithic Bounce-Off in Belfast. Jeremy Deller's Sacrilege vs. Jim Ricks' Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen. Grove Playing Fields, York Road, Belfast, August 26, 2012
Read what the Irish Times says about it here.
Read what the Galway Advertiser says about it here.
Check it out on publicart.ie here.
View a test run on YouTube here.
Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen from Jim Ricks on Vimeo.
View Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen in a larger map