general 01 September 2019

Cairn Homes and sculptor Eileen MacDonagh were thrilled to receive a Highly Commendation  for the “Eyes For You” piece at Parkside at the Allianz Business to Arts Awards in September. 


At Cairn, we believe that the outside space in our developments is just as important as the houses themselves, and so we spend as much time as possible designing and nurturing the landscaping and layout of our developments. Part of this includes the commissioning of public artwork for our developments, such as the striking “Eyes For You” piece at our Parkside development in North Dublin. This piece was produced by esteemed sculptor Eileen MacDonagh, who was approached by Cairn and Dublin City Council in June 2017 to produce a unique piece of artwork to reflect the local heritage within the Parkside estate in Balgriffin.

Now the eye-catching piece has been recognised by the art and business world in Ireland with a high commendation in the Best Commissioning Practice category at the Allianz Business to Arts Awards. The Business to Arts Awards ceremony celebrated progressive and diverse partnerships between the corporate and cultural sectors throughout Ireland.

“Eyes For You was our first Public Art commission and for us it was a great thrill and surprise to be Highly Commended in the Business to Arts Awards,” said Daibhí MacDomhnaill, Head of Landscape and Urban Design at Cairn. “We recognise that our customers are not just buying bricks and mortar but are buying into a neighbourhood, and in Cairn we place great emphasis on delivering great places with high quality open space and public realm. We commissioned Eileen MacDonagh to develop a site-specific piece of artwork. Eileen specialises in sculpting stone and we felt her work was both elegant and timeless and would sit comfortably in our residential scheme – as though it had always been there.”

Speaking after the awards, Eileen MacDonagh stressed the need for collaboration between the arts and business: “The arts need sponsorship to survive and business has the wherewithal to provide this. From the earliest times the Arts had patrons, for example, the Medici family in Florence and the Irish Chieftans who supported bards and poets.

“Art in all its forms is part of life, it is a reflection on society on what we value and cherish. It should be commonplace that art is visible wherever there are people.”

As one of Ireland’s foremost residential developers, Cairn is committed to using art and design to give their spaces a unique identity. This is demonstrated through the commissioning of local artists, executing local materials that can be geographically and historically referenced. 

Eileen’s artwork was installed by the Cairn’s site team at the Parkside development in April 2018, to reflect Dublin City Council and Cairn’s mutual dedication to quality place-making in new neighbourhoods.

Daibhí MacDomhnaill commented: “At Cairn we believe that a development is not just about houses – the outdoor space is just as important. Collaborating with a talented sculptor such as Eileen allowed us to create something that would enhance the local area and give our residents something to enjoy every day.”

Speaking about her collaboration with Cairn, Eileen said: “Working with Cairn was very straightforward and simple. From the outset I was respected as a professional and trusted that I would deliver on the sculpture I had proposed. It was a relationship built on trust.”