Museum in a Garden welcomes everyone.
It has areas for quiet reflection, for community activity, for games and for eating and drinking. It is fully accessible for the physically disabled and has a sensory garden with plants for touching and smelling.
It is a work in progress, opened officially on 24 June 2021 by Eanna Ní Lamhna and is a result of some generous donations and our 2020 Fund-a-Cobble fundraiser.
Museum in a Garden was designed by Nicola Haines of Tierney Haines Architects, who won the public competition. The design draws on the maritime connections of the building and museum collection by creating ‘tide lines’ of grass and planting that ebb and flow around the garden, creating alcoves of shelter for exhibition space, seating and play. Exhibition alcoves are planted to give a flavour of the geographical origin of the escaped, enlarged museum objects.
The local community and volunteers with mental health issues together with professionals are maintaining the garden to provide a communal vibrant green space for everyone. There is a Sean Moran Community Garden that includes vegetable boxes and a large area of sensory plants.
Using the technologies of 3D scanning and 3D printing, the artefacts “hidden” within the museum, are made large and placed outside the walls of the museum for play and enjoyment.
Our first sculpture to be installed was Olmec Man. The Olmec were one of the earliest civilisations in Mesoamerica. modern-day Mexico. Pre-dating the Aztecs and the Maya, the Olmec were great craftspeople and artists who appear to have had elaborate burial rites. Olmec Man is similar to sculptures found in a burial at the Olmec city La Venta, which flourished between c. 900 – 400 BC.
This sculpture is made of Tricoya, an Irish durable and sustainable wood-based product from a 3D scan that was enlarged and then machined using computer numerical control (CNC).
The creation of Olmec man was a collaboration between Arup, Transition Year students of Ardscoil Mhuire and Coláiste Chiaráin. MONARÚ aided by a grant from the ESB
Sweeney’s Throne, by Tom Fitzgerald who was born in County Limerick in 1939. The work evokes Sweeney, a mythical king who was cursed and transformed into a bird. It consists of a stainless steel wing which curves down to a throne of limestone. At the foot of the throne is the impression of footprints. The work is described as a trace left behind, after Sweeney’s wanderings through Ireland. Tom Fitzgerald is an artist living in County Limerick. He was Head of Sculpture in Limerick School of Art & Design
Poised Portal by Eileen McDonagh (1987). Constructed from limestone. Eileen was born in Co.Sligo in 1956 and has worked as a sculptor since the early 1980s. Her work has featured in many exhibitions, both in Ireland and abroad, including shows in Portugal, Scotland, India and Japan. Many of MacDonagh’s sculptures examines a fascination with geometry. She has long been inspired by the purity and ubiquity of geometric principles and the way in which geometric rules govern the universe.
We also need support to produce more of our 3D Museum Replicas, or to encourage sculptors to create new pieces for the remaining six plinths in the garden. If you can donate €250 or more we can claim the 31% tax relief, making your donation worth nearly a third more. As well as more sculpture we want to improve lighting and disabled access and use of the garden.
Archive of (in)Convenience (May 2022)
Installed in May 2022, Archive of (in)Convenience is the latest addition to the Museum in a Garden. The installation is the result of a collaboration between artists Heather Griffin (MakeNice) and Patrick Mulvihill (Amicitia) and is supported by the Science Gallery, KOSMOS, and the Hunt Museum. The installation is located in the Hunt Museum Garden and consists of 5 white plinths each with a clear perspex box atop. Each of the boxes contains a different item – a disposable face mask, a keyring, string, smart pen & a fridge motor. The items’ respective stories are told by a voice of a well-known Limerick personality.
You are invited to come and listen to the stories in person or if you can’t make it, you can listen here.
Keyring – Mohamad Ferhat
String – Dr. Sindy Joyce
Smart Pen – Hazey Haze
Fridge Motor – Emma Langford
Archive of (in)Convenience Artists' Statement
The Archive of (in)Convenience, a collection of stuff and things, used and misused, cherished and forgotten, functioning within a state of dysfunction. A things perspective on the human condition, all consuming, all consumed.
We share with you our hopes and dreams, speak with a reimagined purpose, and confide in you the trauma and confusion of being misjudged and misunderstood. A glimpse into our world, which is your world, or is it?
Can you, human, relate to or have empathy with a smart pen or acknowledge the origins of a piece of string? Can you appreciate the struggle of an overworked motor or the heartbreak of a keyring? Perhaps you’ll never look at a single-use mask the same way again?
Here at the archive we often wonder…who or what should be apologising for the inconvenience and how does everything else feel about it?
Etruscan Jug (June 2022)
Takumi have used their know-how and engineering skills to add a new sculpture to the Hunt Museum in a Garden. Takumi engineers and designers have made an interpretation of the museum’s Etruscan Wine Jug from the 5th century BC, using Corten Steel, cut by water jet and welded into shape.
This sculpture is a reproduction of an original 26 cm tall Etruscan jug, known as an oinochoe, a mixture of the Greek words oînos, “wine” and khéō, “I pour.” This typical Etruscan vessel is likely to have originated near Vulci, on the West coast of Italy. Such jugs were popularly exported and often found in princely Celtic graves.
Takumi developed and manufactured this sculpture using a 3D photogrammetry model created by the Hunt Museum Volunteer Digitisation Group and rendered with help from MONARÚ. The Beaked Flagon complements existing sculpture Olmec Man which was designed by ARUP and produced by Monarù, financed by a grant from ESB.
Launch of Etruscan Jug | 30 June 2022
Dodecahedron Sculpture (June 2023)
The latest addition to the Hunt Museum in a Garden was installed on Wednesday, 7th June 2023. The Dodecahedron Sculpture continues the tradition of partnering with local businesses to bring to fruition new sculptures in the garden. This striking piece, a permanent feature in the Museum in a Garden, was designed and fabricated by Kirby Group Engineering. Impressed by the Etruscan Jug Sculpture produced by Takumi Precision Engineering, Kirby Group approached the museum From concept to realisation, the project took approximately eight months.
The sculpture is a representation of the Dodecahedron (pictured below), an object from the Hunt Museum Collection. Dodecahedrons are somewhat shrouded in mystery. There is a lack of agreement in terms of their use. Several theories have been put forth as to their use: a measuring device, a religious artefact, a candlestick holder, even children’s toys.
Games in the Garden
There is a permanent garden chess board and many other garden games such as quoits, boules, croquet can be borrowed. Events such as music, theatre, chess and boules tournaments, painting, sand sculpture are encouraged. See our What’s On.
In 2016 the Garden at the back of The Hunt Museum was opened to the public but the railings remained in place. In the Summer of 2020 with help from UMR, a local recycling company, the railings were removed. At the time the Garden Design Competition was launched the OPW carried out a Tree Survey. This showed the Pink Chestnut to be badly diseased and a danger to the public. Two further surveys confirmed this result and led to removal of tree, deliberately leaving its lower trunk and roots in the ground so not to disturb the roots of the other large trees and to keep the ground stable. A public consultation resulted in the desire to turn the remaining tree stump into a sculpture for the Garden.
The idea of making a museum in a garden came from the wish to break down the perceived barrier of entry into the building. The objects are coming to the public.
Three finalists and a public consultation later, the judges of the Hunt Museum Garden Design Competition decided on Nicola Haines’s amazing community influenced garden for the Hunt Museum.
Click HERE to see more about it.
Public Tree Consultation
A survey to check the condition of the trees and undertake any necessary action was carried out by an independent contractor of the OPW on 29 September 2020.
Click HERE to see the full results of this survey.
Tree Sculpture Competition
A cash prize competition to create a sculpture from the Chestnut tree stump for our new Museum in a Garden. The sculpting is to take place over the Summer of 2021.