Robert Ballaghs 'People and a Frank Stella Print'

Robert Ballagh first painted near life sized photo realist images of people looking at contemporary art in the early 1970s. The series was instantly popular and was well received critically in the art world. "People and a Frank Stella" was commissioned for a walkway leading through what was originally the Five Start Supermarket in Gladstone street, Clonmel and remained in situ when future stores Quinnsworth, Crazy Prices, and lastly Tesco occupied the location.

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This bold design was inspired by people looking at art and he used fellow artist Frank Stella's notched "V", upending it to create a unifying and lengthy composition. The installation was designed to compete with the wear and tear of supermarket trolleys, bicycles and general traffic coming and going through  the shopping centre. It is one of the first collections which led to Robert Ballagh being sought after for future commissions in the art world and galvanised his status as an artist as well as an illustrator. 

The installation was gifted to Tipperary County Museum in 1992 and has not been seen in public for 27 years!!

The Project:

Conservation by Susan Corr & Noureen Qureshi. 10 out of 18 panels have been chosen for exhibition in the mall of the Showgrounds Shopping Centre. Each panel is cleaned in sections by swabbing with deionised water using hospital grade cotton wool. Deionised water has been purified of trace minerals and their ionising property attracts dirt making it a very effective cleaning solution.

Installation of the work: 

Sven Habermann Conservator, Letterfrack, Co. Galway. Many decisions were taken to decide on its placement, height, spacing and the final finish of the panels.

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