Pictured here is a sculpture called Stream Spire which stands in the midlands town of Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
Westmeath county council held a contest in 2009 to find a sculpture to enhance the entrance to the town. After more than 50 artists entered, the winning choice as pictured is by Mayo based visual artist Cathal McCarthy. The sculpture was commissioned to be created in September 2009.
The sculpture is constructed from a number of stainless steel spheres, and the idea behind it is that it would be similar to a weightless ribbon of water which mirrors the River Brosna. The intention is that the weightless appearance of the highly reflective spheres will give it the illusion of floating in the air and to reflect the town around it. The creation of the sculpture required a team of international engineers to make the design work.
The artist is famous for other public works in Ireland, including The Player, a massive steel work at Ballindine Village as well as Irelands largest interactive musical instrument which was a unique work consisting of 12 bright and playable chimes and a working xylophone. That piece was called Monk with Candles and was built at a school in Co Mayo.
He is known for exploring gravity, nature balance, form and architecture and he currently works teaching a group of learning disabled artists in Mayo.
Thanks for looking!
Critiques | Translate
HimalAnda (10145) 2014-02-14 11:04
I like the unusual composition of your picture and the perfect sharpness.
lousat (81138) 2014-02-14 11:26
Hi Noel,how is great the opportunity to take a lot fo reflections made by this beautiful sculpture,an original pic made in an imposing perspective,great details and bright colors,i like it! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano
Silvio1953 (128479) 2014-02-14 11:34
Ciao Noel, lovely composition with fantastic reflections, great POV on beautiful sculpture, wonderful colors, excellent clarity and splendid light, very well done my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
photographer_sg (4410) 2014-02-14 12:04
unique sculpture beautifully displayed in your photograph. Attractive composition given a nice sense of height. Beautiful colours from the reflections. Thanks for sharing.
Royaldevon (32649) 2014-02-14 12:13
I love this type of structure as a modern concept in sculpture. It uses modern materials fastened together in a modern way and reflects whatever is near it, creating a continually changing scene.
It reminds me very much of this a contemporary sculpture by Anish Kapoor. If you look at the w/s, you will see the resemblance.
Thanks for sharing this and have a good w/e,
macjake (60030) 2014-02-14 13:04
so tell me...does this sculpture work?
does it work as planned as you described in your note?
seems like alot of research and development went into this one. was it worth it? hmmmm.....my guess is no.
you bring up another interesting subject though, and you certainly hit the nail on the head when it comes to bringing attention to new subjects in far off countries.
Not so sure if i'll put this subject on my to-see-list in Ireland! haha
see you around
bukitgolfb301 (37342) 2014-02-14 13:16
Hi dear Noel
A new style for fresh subject of new art object.
So well considerd composition balance is outstandingly marvelous. The blank portion at right side is very nice.
All the best and have a good night! TAKERO
Fis2 (88857) 2014-02-14 13:30
A very interesting sculpture,
I like POV and colors.
carlo62 (37318) 2014-02-14 14:17
bellissima serie di riflessi, è interessante come cambia il paesaggio a seconda della posizione e della grandezza delle sfere.
Uno scatto interessante e simpatico, ben costruito.
willperrett (7844) 2014-02-14 14:37
Well this is a seriously unusual composition. And thus good. I like the edgy, thirdsy framing. It may be my old eyes, but the sky seems a little noisy; but that apart, I really like this. The reflections are also an important part of the picture.
kasianowak (7421) 2014-02-14 15:06
Interesting subject very well presented in this square format image. I like the reflections and the delicate colour palette in the sky.
batalay (36519) 2014-02-14 18:52
Each sphere serves as a wide angle lens, mirroring the surroundings. I like the unusual statue and appreciate very much the informative note.
jcpix (13726) 2014-02-14 20:51
So, does anyone ever take this apart and perform a juggling act of some sort...art in ALL forms, yeah? :) If I've said it once, I've said it a million times...it's truly all in the eyes of the beholder. I don't understand much in the art world, but I can still appreciate the beautification that it provides in a public setting...especially if it sparks a sense of intrigue and thought. Like pizza, even if it's bad, it's good!
Spheres have always garnered my attention though, particularly for their reflective nature and fish-eye effect....and in a case such as this, a repetitive pattern. I really like that you composed this in a way to let it breath, allowing extra negative space with a softer sky as contrast. I'm fighting my sophomoric humor to make an easy joke about these balls, so I'll wrap it up before I get myself in trouble. :o Have a great weekend. Take it easy.
Cheers from heater,
jjcordier (78372) 2014-02-14 22:49
Intéressante mise en image de cette sculpture où chaque boule renvoie le reflet du paysage. Tu en as même profité pour faire un multiple selfie!
chawax (19710) 2014-02-14 23:58
What a nice sculpture ! The reflections in the bowls make it original.
Subhogen (4067) 2014-02-15 1:20
Fantastic view of modern art. Very unique and attractive. I like the way how all the shining spheres are reflecting the same scene. I am a great admirer of traditional art and sculpture, but this one here really looks nice. Since we have lost those intricate carvings and fine statues we have learned to be satisfied playing with shapes and sizes. Here you show that we are not doing badly at all. Like the upward pointing POV and the off centre placement of the subject. Well taken and thanks for sharing.
snunney (88421) 2014-02-15 2:01
Seems to be a question of engineering blending with art, a rather unusual concept to my mind, but maybe not. The final result is very attractive with these repeating reflections soaring into the sky. You have managed the light very well and the cropping suits the subject perfectly. Sharpness is excellent.
SnapRJW (31625) 2014-02-15 3:48
Hello Noel - I do like the way each shiny sphere reflects a minutely different view of the town and one ball reflects a downward view of the construction and what appears to be a photographer! You have framed the sculpture in a way which uses excellent negative space to balance the off-centre composition. Do I like the sculpture... the jury's out on that one. Warm regards Rosemary
serp2000 (41692) 2014-02-15 6:20
Wow! Amazing photo, Noel,
I like your idea to take this psyhedelic construction. very interesting sculpture, good presentation of the art work! Clver assymetric composition, I don't like tight frames too.
Romano46 (18472) 2014-02-15 6:31
una ripresa che sembrerebbe azzardata ma che in realtà è assai efficace osservandola con attenzione.
La serie di numerose sfere che salgono verso il cielo ripetono all'infinito nei loro riflessi la stessa scena creando un sogggetto fotografico del tutto particolare che attrae misteriosamente l'attenzione dell'osservatore.
Una bella intuizione realizzata con grande cura e con senso della composizione eccellente.
Ciao e buon fine settimana
jemaflor (88217) 2014-02-15 8:04
Super reflections on these circles, reflections ar well captured, good idea well made, tfs.
adidas5nb (5685) 2014-02-15 8:09
beautiful graphic shot.very nicely seen and done.love the idea.
imageme (1790) 2014-02-15 11:18
Hi Noel, Awesome sculpture with such reflections on them. The artist created this piece of art is genius.
You have added a super nice perspective to them and makes them look even abstract. Splendid light and blue tones with clarity. The grey blue sky just framed them well and provides huge scale of height. Thank for sharing
delpeoples (54471) 2014-02-15 15:41
I am truly surprised that Jason, the American Dirtbag, has not commented on how much he likes your balls. I will resist, as much as I was tempted to do so too.
This is such an interesting sculpture and an equally interesting photo. And look, we get to see some mini-Noels in each of the er...spheres. I can't help wondering what this would be like in B&W too. Interesting, your off-centre composition. I would have been tempted to chose the vertical frame and focus entirely on the sculpture, but it can see your thinking here and actually like it a lot. This sculpture reminds me of the ones in Belgium and Chicago, kinda strange to see it in such a historical little Irish town, but also good to see modern art. I like the juxtaposition of modern art and traditional architecture that we can see in each if the graduating orbs.
Great job, a photo that really made me think.
And I suggest a Soundtranck: Big Balls by ACDC :)
Have a great Saturday night!
PS the Moderators took my Valentines day photo after all that. So if you critiqued it, thanks!
COSTANTINO (58775) 2014-02-16 10:44
Hello dear friend
this modern sculpure is amazing with
fantastic reflections an original pic
made in an imposing perspective
clever idea original version
have a nice new week
abmdsudi (45706) 2014-02-16 21:20
I really value your words and analysis on my last upload - very much appreciated. This what TE is all about Noel, so let us share and learn the world through photography.
Thaks once again.
Always love an unusual view seeing thing others don't and your attempt at something different - a creative approach to startling image with the lovely fish eye curvature effect from the solid crystal balls - not one but eight- that has encapsulated the scene. After a couple of seconds the viewer becomes aware of the surroundings. Certainly a different aspect, colors are brilliant with great contrast, perspective and love the way this is framed. That's sooo cool. Great work Noel! Congrats
krzychu30 (15510) 2014-02-18 3:11
fabulous abstract study of Westmeath!
Love your upward perspective,of course the sculpture itself and the distorted reflections of the town.
Creative and really brilliant shot my friend!
Great to see so original and artistic shots here on TE!
Wish You a nice day
mirosu (15126) 2014-02-18 5:52
Excellently arranged photo. Superb view up to very interesting modern sculpture. The reflections are just beautiful. Well seen and captured.
ourania (35120) 2014-02-19 14:54
the work of art is brilliant and the engineers have done a great job in its construction. I like very much your composition and the definition with which you captured the steel texture and the reflections/views in it. An intriguing range of perspectives, a fascinating play as the city scape, the base of the sculpture and the photographer are to be found in the sky. It's also interesting that the reflection looks bright and sunny and the sky in it is so blue. These spheres look magical indeed. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great day,
Miguel82 (26288) 2014-02-22 10:46
Noel, what a brillant inspiration, the reflection of a plazza in on that sculpture, nice hues and definition, all the best, regards
ACL1978 (7511) 2014-02-22 16:34
Love this one, Noel - a really cool sculpture, taken really nicely. The off center approach adds so much negative space the eye is even more powerfully drawn to the sculpture itself; it's also an effective multiple self-portrait, as I can see you in every globe (almost, anyway)! Really nice backlighting while retaining great detail. Thanks!
PS - you should visit Puerto Rico, if you haven't already. Some great statuary for you there; in fact I thought of you a couple times as I set up a shot, thinking how you might approach it!
mayjayne (4291) 2015-03-29 4:11
The idea is brilliant. The minimalistic effect from you positioning of the sculpture leaving the space on the right is further enhanced by the play of light with the colour tones of the blue sky. Great shot !