Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the new Douglas Per Cent for Art Commission ran by Cork City Council Arts Office and Cork City Library Service. Cork City Council is inviting artists to submit ideas for a project to mark the reconstruction and reopening of Douglas Library in November this year. Submissions are sought that reflect or respond to the legacy of the local industry and its workers, particularly in relation to textiles. In the 18th century, the mills in Douglas produced sail-cloth and supplied sails to the Royal Navy, amongst other clients. Further textile mills opened in the nineteenth century including Lane’s Corn and Hemp Mills. Most of the mills ceased operating in the early twentieth century, although St Patrick’s Woollen Mills and Donnybrook Mills continued until the 1970s.
This commission process is based on a two stage competition, whereby artists, makers, crafts people or other creative practitioners are invited to submit proposals. A shortlist of three proposals will be selected by the commissioning panel which will include staff of CCC Library Service, CC Arts Office and a local professional artist/craftperson. The shortlisted artists will be invited to interview online on the content of their proposal. The Deadline for applications is by close of business (5pm) on 18 September 2020. For further information and details on how to submit an application visit corkcitylibraries.ie.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy noted: “It’s great to see the history of Douglas textile industries getting a focus through the Per Cent Art Scheme. They provided much employment in centuries gone by and created the unique sense of place that Douglas has. Very little records have survived on the Huguenot Sail Cloth Factory of Messrs Perry and Carelton, which was established just over 300 years ago, and which employed at its height over 700 people, and once existed alongside Church Road at the entrance to Ballybrack Woods. Perry Street in Cork City Centre is the last nod to a once flourishing sailcloth industry – where a large sailcloth warehouse existed. The subsequent creation of linen and woollen manufacturers respectively at other points nearby in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century provided housing for workers – and it from these that created the older village we have today. Douglas Library has always championed the local history of the area and getting the opportunity to work with artists is an added bonus for library staff. From this there will be a legacy piece for this generation and for future generations telling the story of the historic Douglas Village and its textile history”.
Cllr McCarthy concluded: “The refurbished Douglas library will resume its very popular service to the Douglas community facilitating schools, young families and adults. The library will continue to host many activities, book clubs, writing groups and craft activities for all ages within the community. The Council’s intention is that the library will proactively support learning, diversity and social and cultural inclusion”.