Mayor Councillor Declan Bree unveils artist Daniel Chester’s Creative Ireland commissioned painting “A New Dawn.”

Mayor Councillor Declan Bree unveils artist Daniel Chester’s Creative Ireland commissioned painting “A New Dawn.” Dónal Tinney, County Librarian, Mayor Councillor Declan Bree and Daniel Chester at the unveiling of the commissioned painting “A New Dawn"

An open call for a community based Visual Arts Commission was advertised in 2023 as part of Sligo County Council’s Creative Ireland Culture and Creativity Strategy 2023 – 2027.

The theme of the commission was to create an art piece that was reflective of the communities of County Sligo.  Artists were requested to consider the social fabric and make up of Sligo County Council’s many communities, who reside within its administrative area.  The successful artist was encouraged to engage with the topography, heritage and culture of Sligo City or County.  The artwork would take pride of place in the Mayor’s Parlour in City Hall which has for many centuries been a focal point for community engagement and civic pride.

Applications were confined to professional artists who had strong links to County Sligo or who had studied art at ATU Sligo.  From a very strong field of applicants Daniel Chester was awarded the commission with a completion date of mid-June 2024.  Daniel’s proposal was to create a unique piece of art that celebrates and connects the ever- changing identity, culture and future that has evolved in both Sligo town and county over the last few decades.

Growing up in Enniscrone County Sligo, Daniel remembers Sligo as a welcoming place, with the sea, river, mountains, and lakes a source of inspiration to him.  The correlation between the influx of tourists during the summer months and the contrasting silence in the winter months remained with him over the years.

“A New Dawn” is a 135cm x 115cm framed, oil painting on primed dibond aluminum panel.  This is Daniels preferred choice of medium as a durable, lightweight, and recycled material.  Daniel cites the beauty and ruggedness of the landscape as being a huge influence on creating this commission.

Daniel Chester’s Creative Ireland - painting Daniel Chester’s Creative Ireland commissioned painting “A New Dawn”

The concept of new growth and the ever-changing seasons is very apparent in his paintings.  “The changing face of the landscape as we move between these seasons and how our ancestors embraced this and worked their lives around it, bringing in the harvest before the first frost set in, knowing when to gather.  Plants begin to wilt, trees bare their leaves, all to begin for something new and fresh in the spring.  The wind changes, it becomes warmer in the spring, winter has been forgotten.  This is also a time when the brighter mornings and evenings return.  The sky also changes, warm evening glow, morning sunlight, these all find their way into my work.  For me the landscape is so important because it affects everyone differently”.

Mayor Cllr. Declan Bree congratulated Daniel Chester on his commissioned work “A New Dawn” and welcomed it as a centre piece in the Mayor’s Parlour, and also an opportunity to showcase local artists and their interpretation of the Sligo community and landscape.

Creative Sligo 2023 – 2027 is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Daniel Chester’s Creative Ireland - images Photo 1
Daniel Chester’s Creative Ireland - images Photo 2