Lough Boora Discovery Park is an ever-changing canvas where sculptures emerge from the landscape against a backdrop of wildflowers, grasslands, lakes and wetlands. This week, these innovative works were recognised by Arenike Adebajo as he compiled a list of the top ten sculpture parks in Europe for the Guardian newspaper. The Co. Offaly Sculpture Park is listed alongside other artistic havens such as the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, the Austrian Sculpture Park, and the Kroller-Muller Museum in the Netherlands.
Adebajo writes, “A peat bog in Ireland’s Midlands may seem an unusual setting for a sculpture park but Lough Boora, which once supplied over a million tonnes of peat every year, is now a sanctuary for wildlife and home to 24 land sculptures, inspired by the area’s industrial heritage. Pick up a brochure at the visitor centre for details on the more iconic artworks before setting off on the two-mile sculpture trail, one of five themed routes around the park.”
People who have visited Lough Boora Discovery Park will remember these fascinating works of art and how they dramatically change the landscape with varying contrast depending on the weather and the seasons. Industrial materials of the bog, such as locomotives, rail line, timber and stone have been transformed into magnificent sculptures. Over time, the effects of nature have altered the sculptures in colour and developed wonderful colonies of plant growth, enabling them to become part of the landscape once again. It is a unique environment where art meets nature.