THE MOTHERSHIP BY RACHEL JOYNT AT NEWTOWNSMITH BETWEEN DUN LAOGHAIRE TOWN AND GLASTHULE
I first photographed this in 2001 and I have always liked it.
I have seen this described online as the Sea Urchin Sculpture locate on the Glasthule Promenade however I noticed, for the first time, a plaque which read as follows: “Mothership By Rachel Jotnt 1999”.
Mothership was commissioned in 1998 through an open competition as part of an Art Programme for the Dun Laoghaire Drainage Scheme. The sculpture is located in Newtownsmith which is an area between Dun Laoghaire and Glasthule. Over time it has become an iconic and popular work that has captured public imagination. Its scale and form leads itself to inter-action, as its is possible to climb into the body of the shell.
The sculpture, made of cast bronze and stainless steel, depicts a sea urchin positioned on its side and suspended in motion leaving a trail of metal silver droplets.
It is as if the sea urchin has been thrown up onto the shore by a wave. Positioned at a slight angle, we can follow the moving sea urchin’s tracks – small stainless steel discs – as it spins to a halt, and surprisingly remains upright.
The sea urchin is a confident statement of clear sea water, made possible by Dun Laoghaire Drainage Scheme. On a more subtle level the diameter chosen for the piece is the same diameter that is used in the tunnelling and pipe construction involved in the Drainage Scheme.
The work is positioned to allow the viewer to look through it and out to open sea.