In the village of Waterville, on the Wild Atlantic Way Kerry coast, lies a fitting tribute to the many explorers and mariners who set sail in search of adventure and much more. The Árthach Dána, Amergin Memorial Sculpture and Sundial in Waterville, is dedicated to the many explorers and seafarers who navigated Europe's Atlantic Seaboard. Árthach Dána is Irish for daring or artful vessel.
Commissioned by Kerry County Council and sculpted by Holger C. Lönze, this special piece of sculpture captures the different aspects of seafaring, navigation and sea life while paying homage to all sea faring explorers of the past, present and no doubt the future. It stands over 6.2m in height, is a repoussé bronze sculpture and features a large sundial. The sculpture is designed for a lifespan of several hundred years, using fully recyclable materials in combination with low carbon and energy efficient processes and lighting.
The sculpture depicts a boat emerging from the depth of history, evoking connotations of mythical sea creatures and transforming into the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The beaklike prow of this submerged ship forms the gnomon of a 6.2m high sundial. On the body of the sculpture there are wave patterns representing the Atlantic Ocean and how olden sailors used wave and tidal patterns for navigation. The elongated stem resembles the skull and beak of a Northern Gannet that becomes the gnomon of the large sundial. The significance of the Gannet tribute is a reference to the nearby Little Skellig, home to one of the largest gannet colonies in the world. The colouring of the sundial area represents the sandy shores of the sea. The words of the first poem in the Irish language 'The Song of Amergin', is set in cut out bronze into the wall over 12m and is lit at night.
An information panel is nearby to explain the sculpture for visitors to the site.
Visit the outdoor Waterville Heritage Gallery at Waterville Craft Market.