Cork County Council joins artist James L Hayes in inviting the public to experience his latest exhibition ‘The Score’, a captivating exploration of the traditional Irish sport of road bowling. This unique contemporary art showcase, presented in collaboration with members and players from Ból Chumann na hÉireann, The Irish Road Bowling Association, will open its doors to the public at 7pm on Saturday, July 8th in Macroom Town Hall.
Focussing on the Irish tradition of road bowling ‘The Score’ looks at and references the history and material of the iconic cast iron road bowl. In the game, competitors throw this metal ball along a predetermined course of country roads with the aim of using the fewest number of throws. Originating in Ireland, the sport is now mainly played in counties Cork and Armagh using a 28oz cast iron bowl, however stone or iron bowls were used in the past.
‘The Score’ exhibition comprises of a multi-screen film and sound installation with bespoke sculptural artworks and objects. The project also includes an accompanying sound composition by Peter Power. Dunmanway road bowler Hannah Cronin collaborated with the artist on the film installation, while Dr. Séamus Ó Tuama advised on the two-year project.
Speaking about the exhibition, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said, “James L Hayes is an accomplished artist who has had exhibitions in Ireland and abroad. It is wonderful to see a creative response to cherished cultural institution Ból Chumann na hÉireann. While road bowling isn’t unique to Cork, it’s a big part of our sporting heritage and through this exhibition, the tradition will be memorialised and brought to new audiences.”
Commissioned by Cork County Council in 2021, James L Hayes engaged with athletes and attended scores across the county, including The King and Queen of the Road, an annual event in Ballincurrig each September featuring competitors from Cork, Armagh, The Netherlands and Germany. The much-anticipated exhibition opening has been planned to coincide with this year’s All-Ireland competition.
‘The Score’ is made possible by funding from Cork County Council and Creative Ireland. The exhibition opens at Macroom Town Hall on Saturday July 8th at 7pm and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays 11am to 6pm, until July 29th, 2023. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
Source: Cork County Council