AT MADDEN’S BUILDINGS ON WATERCOURSE ROAD IN CORK
Madden’s Buildings consists of a number of single-storey redbrick buildings arranged in terraces, with each terrace having a gable end facing Watercourse Road at one end and or Great William O’Brien street at the other end. The Bull and Drover sculpture is located on the gable end of one of one of the terraces.
The Bull and Drover is a bronze sculpture by Kevin Holland, located on the gable end of Madden’s Buildings in Blackpool, Cork, Ireland. The sculpture depicts a bull being led by a drover, and is a reminder of the cattle market that once operated on this site.
The sculpture was commissioned by the Cork Corporation in 1986, to commemorate the centenary of the construction of Madden’s Buildings. It was created by Kevin Holland, a sculptor who is based in Cork. Holland is known for his work in bronze, and his sculptures often depict animals.
The Bull and Drover is a realistic depiction of a bull and a drover. The bull is a large, powerful animal, with a muscular body and a fierce expression. The drover is a smaller, more human figure, but he is also strong and determined. The two figures are facing each other, and the bull is following the drover’s lead.
The sculpture is mounted on a bronze plaque, which is inscribed with the words “The Bull and Drover” and the dates “1886-1986”.
In addition to the Bull and Drover, Kevin Holland has created a number of other sculptures in Cork, including the Draftsman on the Grand Parade. His work can also be found in other cities in Ireland, as well as in the United States and the United Kingdom.
I tried to locate the Draftsman on the Grand Parade and having failed I tried to find a photograph only to discover that there are no known photographs of the Draftsman. The sculpture was created in 1986, and it was destroyed in a fire in 1996. According to one source the blank wall where the Draftsman on the Grand Parade once stood is located at 14-16 Grand Parade, Cork, Ireland. The address is also listed as 2 Patrick Street, Cork, Ireland. The wall is located on the corner of Grand Parade and Patrick Street, in the heart of Cork city. It is a blank wall, with no markings or signage. The only indication that the Draftsman on the Grand Parade once stood there is a small plaque that is embedded in the wall. The plaque reads: “This was the site of the Draftsman on the Grand Parade, a sculpture by Kevin Holland, which was destroyed in a fire in 1996.”
“Draftsman Sculpture Destroyed in Fire” (The Irish Examiner, February 17, 1996)
“Cork City Mourns Loss of Draftsman Sculpture” (The Echo, February 18, 1996)
“Artist Pays Tribute to Lost Draftsman” (The Irish Times, February 19, 1996)
While researching the artist I came across the following story: A sculpture by artist Kevin Holland and similar to the Bull and Drover sculpture on nearby Madden’s Buildings was installed on the northern wall between Watercourse Road and Blackpool bypass. It was commissioned by the developer and installed on the wall at their expense, with the agreement of the city council, to commemorate the heritage and history of the area. In July 2012 it was removed by workmen. The worrying aspect to the story is that a liquidator was appointed earlier to the company which developed the site and fears had been raised that the sculpture may have been removed as part of the liquidation process. It was estimated that the metal used in the piece could be worth €50,000.
Below I have included information that was provided by a single source which is not reliable: Dray Horses sculpture was removed in 2016 due to concerns about its structural integrity. The sculpture was made of bronze, and it was mounted on a steel frame. Over time, the steel frame had corroded, and the sculpture was in danger of falling. The sculpture was removed to a workshop, where it was restored. The steel frame was replaced, and the sculpture was repainted. The sculpture was then returned to its original location in 2017. The source does reference the following:
“Dray Horses Sculpture Removed for Restoration” (The Irish Examiner, February 2016)
“Dray Horses Sculpture Returns to Blackpool” (The Irish Examiner, June 2017)
“Cork City Council Spends €30,000 on Dray Horses Restoration” (The Echo, June 2017)
“Artist Pays Tribute to Lost Draftsman” (The Irish Times, February 19, 1996): Kevin Holland, the artist who created the Draftsman sculpture, has paid tribute to his lost work. Holland said that he was “devastated” by the fire, and that he “still can’t believe it”.He said that the Draftsman sculpture was “a very personal piece” for him, and that he was “very proud” of it. Holland said that he would like to see the sculpture rebuilt, but he said that he knows that it will be “very difficult”.