The Seagoing Moon-Powered Sculpture by Paddy Bloomer

Come visit Paddy Bloomer’s Seagoing Moon-Powered Sculpture as it fishes for wild energy at the mouth of the Corrib on the 20-22 November. This renewable energy art project brings together three strands; tidal energy, boat building and kinetic sculpture.

The Sculpture will be on display at the following times:

20 November 15:30 – 18:30
21 November 16:00 – 19:00
22 November 16:30 – 19:30

The energy density of moving water is very high and tidal energy is still not exploited commercially, so the technology holds a sense of fascination for tinkerers and armchair inventors. Where sea water is rhythmically pulled through channels by the gravitational forces of the sun and moon, a home brew tidal turbine, built from scavenged propellers, outboard motor parts and other mechanical and electrical scrap, provides power for a kinetic sculpture.

A catamaran built from two scrap wind turbine blades provides the vehicle and platform for the tidal energy and sculptural strands. Catamaran is an Austronesian word meaning logs bound together.  Wind turbine blades are a waste material from the wind power industry and are an increasing problem as they are made from GRP which is not easily recyclable.

When the tidal current powers the electric motor, the sculpture draws arcs and epicycles with light in the sky and on the water. The movements of the kinetic sculpture is based on the movements of celestial bodies – a cross between Etch a Sketch and swing-ball.

Paddy Bloomer’s Seagoing Moon Powered Sculpture is a commission by Ríonach Ní Néill for the climate art project Baint an Aeir, based in an Cheathrú Rua and funded by Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action Fund.  Facing into a future shaped by the climate emergency, this project brings together artists, scientists and the public to consider what  we can learn from our past, what practices brought communities through previous crises, and what kind of community do we need to build in order to face and come through the existential threat of climate change. Galway was already using renewable energy to produce electricity at hydroelectric stations on the Corrib from the late 19th century to the 1930s. If we did it then, why can’t we do it again?

This is Paddy’s second renewable energy artwork in Galway. During 2020/21 his Weather Modulator, commissioned by Ríonach for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, was installed on the Goal River, and used solar energy to create rain showers from spinning watering cans.






River Corrib, viewing points from Nimmo’s Pier and Long Walk.


All ages