£100,000 grant to cover a Dublin cinema in bamboo

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The Independent Online

A bizarre plan to surround a disused Dublin cinema with bamboo scaffolding has earnt a Lancashire artist £100,000 in sponsorship.

Dan Shipsides's Bamboo Support, named yesterday as the Irish Museum of Modern Art's project for the millennium, beat off proposals from nine other countries to secure the prize. Workers from Hong Kong will fly into the city later this year to make a start on the installation, the inspiration for which came when the artist, 27, visited a friend in the Far East. The building, one of the finest examples of the Art Deco style in Dublin, will be encased in wood for two months.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman for the Museum of Modern Art denied the idea was frivolous. "People love this kind of thing," Onagh Carolan said. "It takes art out of the galleries and into the mainstream where everyone can enjoy it. I don't think it's gimmicky at all." But Dublin Gardai were less enthusiastic. The installation, which has already being likened to a monkey's climbing frame, will be situated on the city's main road, O'Connell Street.

"That street can be hard enough to police on a weekend night, without giving drunk fellas an excuse to show off to their pals," a spokesman said.

Among the projects short-listed for the award were: a scheme to illuminate the capital by night with light reflected from a satellite in orbit; a proposal to recreate every sculpture in Ireland in miniature; and a plan to cloak the city's tallest building in a "veil of shimmering light".

Shipsides, who was born in Burnley, has already been the recipient of a number of arts awards and bursaries and has exhibited in Germany, the United States, Finland and Australia. He was presented with his cheque at a reception in Dublin yesterday by Gerard O'Toole, executive chairman of Nissan Ireland.

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