This wonderful sculptural piece was created for the Port commission in 2007 by Paul Mangan
Thou spreadest a table in my sight
Thy unction grace bestoweth
And O what transport of delight
From thy pure chalice floweth
From “The King of Love” Henry William Baker.
This in turn was inspired by a Psalm written by David 23 and it’s where we get the expression “my cup runs over”
Geography and the elements
The port looks down the river eastwards facing the rising sun and this daily vista is ever changing depending on cloud and weather conditions. The sun and its light are the main players in this drama and this is what prompted me to imagine ways to use these elements to reflect this inter play.
Also westward we have up river that Ancient temple and a lost religion which used the calendar of the flow and ebb of natural light as the basis of its rituals and routines.
That’s the light. The other great element in this is the water it’s like the life blood of the region from Bru na Boinne the Mattock and the monastery there right out to Mornington. All the life and death that the river has brought, the sublime and also the sadness of those lost in the water.
So they are the elements and the place itself
So lets look at the work itself.
Metal iron: Sourced deep in the earth but also deposited there during creation as Supernovas exploded and imploded into space
Glass: Discovered with the combination of sulphur and sand
Form: basket pod like indicating weaving again back to coracles and Moses. If you want to hold something you have to have a form
Then the plinth again metal elevating almost something medieval armour like which also hold with the town the gates the walls the keeps were all very structured and functional………….
I leave it to your imagination.
The work reflects elements in the environment in that the port and river depends on vessels to convey its freights and cargoes and carry on trade and commerce. The successful navigation of these vessels from coracles to container shipping through the port and river area has resulted in the town throughout history surviving and developing.
The idea of vessels in that they are household items and easily related to and accessible in that we depend on them for household use to convey foodstuffs and liquids from place to place. They also have special use in terms of chalices and objects of celebration cups trophies etc which can act as a focus for communities to gather round and celebrate their achievements.
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honour and some for dishonour. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter he will be a vessel for honour sanctified and useful for the Master prepared for every good work.”