10.jpg 8.jpg 11.jpg 9.jpg 3_v2.jpg

March 2014:
Film about the Art Tunnel the day before closing party by Bryan O' Brian for the Irish Times:Irish Times website February 2014

About the Art Tunnel
An outdoor art gallery and pocket community park for Smithfield. Join us- become a keyholder! From Spring till Autumn we 'Art Tunnelers' meet there every Wednesday from 17.30, or contact us on facebook click here or ring Sophie on: 0857034201
Bring Art into the public realm and create a community pocket park at low cost with local community's, business' and the Council's support.

The site
A strip of wasteland along the Luas corridor in Smithfield has morphed into an outdoor art gallery which shows site specific installations by emerging artists in the "Art Tunnel" section and community artwork in the "Art Platform" section.

It is also a micro- neighbourhood park, providing for a bio diverse wildlife habitat.

It is used as a community garden by local key holders- who come to enjoy and maintain the garden. They also run monthly "Exchange Markets" during the summer time.

Design, construction and programming of the Art Tunnel by Fieldwork & Strategies.

The built was financed by local businesses and through crowd funding. See Our Supporters"our supporters" for more details

2. Aim
Richer City
The “Art Tunnel” is a platform for creativity which catalyses activities at a local level.
A collaborative project,
an infrastructure for urban participation
and showcase of local skills.
The work exhibited is viewed by 40,000 Luas passengers a day, as well by passing by pedestrians.

Crossing the physical boundaries: exhibiting in public open space instead of a gallery fills the city with images and makes it richer, denser and more exciting to live in.

The “Luas corridor”
The “Luas corridor” is not a very welcoming road to walk on as it is often defined by “blind walls and fences and has little footfall and visual attractions.'' It needs livening up and being turned into a road for pedestrians as well as the Luas.
The Art Tunnel energises community life and the exhibited artwork increases pedestrian activity and community liveability.

The Tunnel is a landmark and helps to create a distinctive urban identity for Smithfield.

Produce of its inhabitants
A public space for the non- commercial creation/ production of neighbourhood desires shows that creative productivity is not the domain of artists only but a universal talent accessible and useful to everyone.
This public art gallery is a platform for expression and exchange and allows for a paradigm-change:
A town is not made solely by town planners, architects and other trained professionals but is also a produce of it’s inhabitants.

Artist and landscape architect Sophie von Maltzan works as curator with emerging artists, local schools, youth groups and residents to encourage spatial re- appropriation amongst the local community.
Local groups are encouraged to express their relationship with Smithfield and produce and exhibit their own artwork in the Community platform. The Art will expose sociological movements and local desires.

A garden
The Art Tunnel will- well in the nature of a garden- always be a work in progress as well as a civic act and activate further placemaking processes.

It is also in the nature of the garden- gallery to look good and be a relaxing space to spend time in, even when no artwork is being exhibited.

Its design is at the same time political and poetic, as it aims above all to ‘create relationships between worlds’.
It responds to presentiments and unease towards galleries twofold: informalising the gallery through placing it in the public realm and through encouraging locals to exhibit.

Significance on micro- scale
This is a gallery, but its main achievement is introducing people to different ways of working and thinking and articulating through creative processes.
...citizens who appropriate and interact with the public realm.
Local interaction with the city through an intimate act like creating a piece of art with site-specific resonance encourages spatial appropriation.

Significance on macro- scale
A case study to encourage residents to obtain access to and critically transform temporary underused spaces, it acts as example for the variety of activities that open space can be used for.
The tunnel does not need to be physically accessible for viewers of art work: in our climate we have a great tradition of enjoying scenery from a vehicle, protected from the elements.
It promotes cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue for locals and Luas commuters, offering a richer variety of experiencing the City.

3. History
DCC City Architect Ali Grehan pointed F&S towards the site. The proposal for the Art tunnel was developed by F&S in consultation with the owner of the site, Block T artists studios, local residents and businesses. The suggested Art tunnel is approved by DCC and of such nature that a planning application was not required.