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Location

Shekina is situated in the centre of Co. Wicklow, in the townland of Kirikee which is locally considered as the gateway to the wild Glenmalure Valley. Shekina’s setting is further enhanced by the views of Fananieran mountain and the ancient oak trees of the Ballinacor Estate.

Description

The rear of the house faces south and the garden slopes down to the nearby Avonbeg River. A major attraction is the stream which flows along two sides of the garden. The latter provides water for two split level ponds. The sculpture collection evolved over a thirty year period (1986 – 2016). Each sculpture has over time ‘grown into’ the garden, just as the garden has ‘embraced’ each sculpture.

The unity and harmony between the artistry of nature and humanity’s artistic endeavours has enabled Shekina become a place of great beauty. Other features in the garden include a gazebo, seating areas of stone, wood, or metal, two bridges, a weather vane, mirror, chimes, a fountain, metal arches, alcoves and a Zen spiral walkway.

Sculptors include

  • Michael Casey,
  • Fred Conlon,
  • Cliodna Cusson,
  • Michael Foley,
  • James Gannon,
  • Leo Higgins,
  • Anne Murphy,
  • Paul Page,
  • Noel Scullion,
  • Alexander Sokolov,
  • Imogen Stuart,
  • Ken Thompson,
  • Elke Westen,
  • Alexandra Wejchart.

History

People began visiting the garden over thirty years ago as part of the Co. Wicklow Gardens Festival. Over the years visitors have found this garden a place of tranquillity and inspiration, some calling it a peace garden, others viewing it as a place for reflection and some for celebrations. Several have called it a modern ‘Sacred Space’. It can be a haven for the senses, where: sights of varying shapes and colours that change with the seasons can be perceived; where sounds of birds, animals and water gushing or trickling can be heard; where the texture of shrubs or sculptures, be they wood, iron, stainless steel, stone, bronze, enamel, glass can be felt; where the subtlety of smells and taste buds can be sensed, thus enhancing a holistic and delight-filled experience.

Most of the sculptures were chosen because of their strong symbolic content, where each work speaks itself while at the same time evoking, pointing towards, something more than itself:  to a further, deeper reality. It is important, however, that every visitor is open to what each sculpture says uniquely to them.  Gardens can be considered an art form in their own right. The aliveness quality of plants and shrubs, plus the constant changes that each season brings likens gardens to the performing arts as well as having a similarity with sculpture through their unique use of form, outlines, colour, texture.

The garden is suitable art lovers and garden enthusiasts as well as for individuals or groups (5-20) who want to spend a reflective day in a beauty-filled setting. Picnics are welcomed.

Shekina Sculpture Garden is owned by the National Parks and Wildlife section of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Directions & Opening Times

Directions

The garden is situated 3 kms from Glenmalure Lodge Hotel or 2 kms from Greenan. For those coming from north or west of Co. Wicklow the scenic route is recommended (avoid sat nav). At Laragh take road signed for Rathdrum. Shortly turn right, sign marked Glenmalure. After approx 9 kms there is a cross roads, take left turn. Shekina is 3 kms down this road on your right.

Opening Times

The garden is open throughout the year, 11am – 5pm.

It is essential to phone before visit: 040446128 / 0868569106.

Exhibition

A special SHEKINA EXHIBITION took place over the summer months of 2017, the exhibition was opened in early June by President Michael D. Higgins. The Exhibition was hosted by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaelthact Affairs with Catherine McCann appointed as Curator.

The garden was featured on RTE Nationwide on Monday 30th of October 2017

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