Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Research Council and SUBSET engage with communities across Ireland to celebrate “Creating Our Future”

11 November 2021: To celebrate Science Week 2021, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Irish Research Council (IRC) have partnered with the artist collective SUBSET to create a series of public art interpretations of Creating Our Future. Today the first artwork was unveiled in Balbriggan titled Our Climate Future, with local representatives from Our Balbriggan and students from Bremore Educate Together School.

The public artwork unveiled during Science Week 2021 is supporting the Government of Ireland’s Creating Our Future campaign, which provides the public with the opportunity to submit their ideas for research to make our country better for all. 

The focus for the Balbriggan artwork is the climate crisis, in particular the proliferation of microplastic within our environment. Having researched the life cycle of plastic as it degrades, the artwork borrows from the colours and shapes extracted from microscopic examination of plastic. It was created working with Our Balbriggan, a 6-year rejuvenation project established by Fingal County Council to transform and improve the local community. Students from Bremore Educate Together School have also been creating murals at Clonard Lane at the same time, focused around the sustainable development goals, wellbeing and artivism.

Known for their public art, SUBSET in collaboration with SFI and IRC, have developed a public art project working with local community groups and professional researchers from different parts of the country to inspire and inform their artwork. Working together, the organisations have gathered information from public groups to advise and fuel the creation of artworks in five counties, of which the Balbriggan location was the first to be completed. These artworks will constitute a succinct and powerful comment on the impact of science on our collective future as a nation.

Speaking about the partnership, Dr Lisa Higgins, Head of Challenge Research and Education and Public Engagement, Science Foundation Ireland said: “Art has an incredible ability to break down barriers, to allow us to have new conversations, understand science and consider the possibilities our future holds in new and different ways. Our theme for Science Week 2021 is Creating Our Future; this initiative is the perfect opportunity to engage with communities on what this means to them. We are delighted to work with SUBSET and the Irish Research Council to create this art which will live at the heart of communities in Ireland.”

Dr Emer Cahill, Programme and Communications Manager, Irish Research Council said: “Each year, Science Week aims to bring science, engineering, technology and maths into homes and communities throughout Ireland. The theme Creating Our Future goes even further, engaging with all disciplines of research, using artistic expression as a means of inspiring conversation and curiosity. The Irish Research Council funds all research from STEM to the arts, humanities and social sciences and we are delighted to partner with Science Foundation Ireland and SUBSET to support this series of installations.”

Speaking about the partnership, SUBSET said: “Through this project we wish to provide a clear, vibrant voice with which to drive educational and innovative discussions around the decisions shaping our country. Conversing with various groups on the subject of Creating our Future has been insightful and taking inspiration from the conversations and the sciences has broadened our horizons. The art that is created within the communities will be a beacon for progress through experimentation."

“Submit your ideas for research, use this resource that is at your disposal. You have the ability to impact our nation, believe that and make strides towards it.”

Science Week 2021 aims to give the public inspiration for ideas for the Creating Our Future campaign by providing an opportunity to discuss and explore how science can contribute to a better future. Submissions to the campaign, which was launched in July 2021, will run until the end of November. Ideas can be submitted at