Sky Train

By Michael Bulfin        

An old motionless ‘Rustin’ train and open creel type wagons celebrating the machinery and people who once worked on them over the years.

Concept Description

“Having grown up in the area, my abiding memory is of the machines that Bord na Móna brought in to work the bogs: the ditchers, ridgers and trains. Looking at a line of peat wagons, flat on the horizon” – Michael Bulfin.

Michael decided to take this image and commemorate it by translating it into a sculptural context – using the Bord na Móna trains and wagons in a different plane – hence the introduction of the “rainbow” curve.

To put emphasis on the train going up into the sky, ditcher wheels were introduced to form tunnels in the supporting mound so the light can be seen through it. The engine is a ‘Rustin’, one of the oldest models and the wagons are of the open creel type, reminiscent of the creels used to carry turf on horse or donkey. This piece is a celebration of the Bord na Móna machines and the men who operated them.

Sculptor’s Bio

Michael Bulfin was born in Birr, County Offaly, and graduated in Environmental Science from Yale University.

He was a founder of the Projects Arts Centre in Dublin, and was, for seven years, Chairman of the Sculptors Society of Ireland. He has exhibited widely in Ireland, participating in major exhibitions in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as solo exhibitions.

He has also participated in numerous international exhibitions and symposia in the United States, Paris, London, Liverpool and Copenhagen. Recent work includes Echoes of the Past-Traces of the Future, a 100m long drawing in the landscape consisting of three low embankments that winds into a spiral form.


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