'...the lives we live' Grangegorman Public Art Book

grangegormandevelopmentagency

‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art

n Public Art Prof. Ciarán Benson Public Art Working Group

onstruction Prof. Doris Sommer Pre-Texts Some New Life

asterplan for the 21st Century John Mitchell James Mary

Dockrell Health Service Executive Breaking the

ntury, What Does it Take to Build and Establish a Technological

ick Technological University Dublin The Possibility

rrett Phelan Solaris Nexum Alexandra Carr Feilden

and Walker Heneghan Peng Architects West Quad

us Martin McCullough Mulvin Architects Todd

e Centre Aisling Prior Joy Gerrard Dusk/Dawn Oisín

The Life of Loans: On the Politics of Belonging and Co-existence

e of Public Works Irish Museum of Modern Art

Mary Burke Alan Counihan Marie Holohan Gemma

an Dorothy Smith Stories Between Us Janine Davidson

School Henrietta Adult Community Education

ool of Creative Arts Kieran Corcoran Time As Form Nasir

asi Confinement Trish McAdam National Archives

O’Hara Connell Vaughan Crocosmia × Clodagh Emoe

rs Fiona Whelan Rialto Youth Project Create

na Henri Incarceration Altars Bernie Masterson Irish

e in Mine? Jennie Guy John Beattie Ella de Búrca

CBS Fiona Gannon Home on the Grange Emmett Scanlon

eefe Hilary Murray NatureRX Kaethe Burt-O’Dea

s Nick Roth Maire Saaritsa Dominica Williams

ng Down the Walls City of Dublin Winter Solstice Festival A Creative

hing Times Aspire Edmund Rice Trust Slí An

lishing Partnership TU Dublin Early Childhood

Step TU Dublin Photography Ann Curran One Hour

egorman Drawings Dorothy Smith Drawn Together Conor


‘…the lives

we live’

Grangegorman site, c.1940s, courtesy of GDA

Grangegorman

Public Art



The Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) was

set up in 2006 to redevelop the grounds of St. Brendan’s

Psychiatric Hospital into a new urban quarter

for Dublin city. Integral to the Strategic Plan was provision

for public art. 1

The Irish Government’s national

Per Cent for Art Scheme allocates a percentage of the

total budget of the government-funded capital project

for the arts. 2

The GDA commissioned the Grangegorman

Arts Strategy (2012) which outlines a vision,

values and direction for public art as an integral part of

the overall design and redevelopment. 3

The Strategy

articulates the intent to commission art that builds and

connects with a diversity of artists and arts practices

for Grangegorman and its extensive networks in ways

that are artistically ambitious and relevant to a diversity

of communities. Key to the success of the delivery

of the Strategy was the establishment of a Public Art

Working Group by the GDA and the appointment of a

Public Art Coordinator to lead the implementation of

‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art. 4 This book

gives account of this work.

1 https://ggda.ie/strategic-plan, Section 6.3.3

2 https://publicart.ie/main/commissioning/funding/per-cent-for-art-scheme

3 https://ggda.ie/assets/GG_Arts_Strategy1.pdf

4 www.ggda.ie/public_art



Contents

‘…the lives we live’

Grangegorman

Development Agency

Compiled and Edited by

Jenny Haughton and Lori Keeve

Proofread by Christopher Steenson

Design by Unthink

Printed by Impress Printing Works

December 2020. All rights reserved

Grangegorman Development Agency,

the authors, artists and publishers.

All images are copyright of the artists,

the Agency or named photographers.

© All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced, stored

in a retrieval system, or transmitted in

any form or by any means, electronic,

mechanical, photocopying, recording

or otherwise, without the prior

permission in writing of the publisher.

ISBN 978-1-9998617-1-1

Published by Grangegorman

Development Agency

Gníomhaireacht Forbartha

Ghráinseach Ghormáin

Grangegorman Road Lower,

Dublin 7, Ireland.

www.ggda.ie/public_art

10

A note to the reader

Jenny Haughton,

Public Art Coordinator.

12

‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman

Public Art 2013–2021

Prof. Ciarán Benson, Chair,

Public Art Working Group.

17

Making It: Cities Under Co-Construction

Prof. Doris Sommer critiques

the UN’s over-emphasis on

policing and infrastructure

while gesturing to the arts in

achieving safety in the city.

Sommer introduced Pre-Texts

to Dublin’s inner city as an

art-based method of encouraging

people back to reading and

learning.

22

Some New Life for This Old Town

Ger Casey, Chief Executive,

Grangegorman Development

Agency, provides an overview

of the role and challenges

for this government appointed

Agency, established in 2006

to redevelop the 73 acre

Grangegorman site into a

revitalised and repurposed

urban quarter.

24

A Masterplan for the 21 st Century

John Mitchell, DMOD Architects,

shares some of his own insights

into the crafting and delivery

of the Masterplan for the

site. Included is a note by

Masterplanner James Mary

O’Connor, originally from

the area, describing how he

drew the original sketch that

has informed and guided the

Masterplan for over a decade.

26

Caring at Grangegorman:

Past, Present and Future

Derek Dockrell, Senior

Architect, Health Service

Executive, acknowledges the

chequered history of health

services and points to the

reuse and reintegration of new

and improved health services

that will ensure a patientcentred

approach to healthcare.

31

Breaking the Rule of Silence

Justine McDonnell’s

performative piece is about

the past and the continued

oppression traced to the ever

unfolding histories that resist

the politicisation of silence.

Essay by Sara Muthi.

36

In the 21 st Century, What Does it Take to Build

and Establish a Technological University in the

City and in the Wider World?

Prof. David FitzPatrick, newly

appointed to the position

of President of TU Dublin,

addresses this question by

positioning Ireland’s first

Technological University within

the international educational

sector, emphasising the

integrated approach to student

learning through practice,

research and engagement.

41

The Possibility of an Archive

Alan Phelan’s monumental video

projection onto the new Energy

Services Building comprises the

animation of classification

headings culled from historical

records of the former mental

health institutions. In

this way Phelan reveals past

human dystopias upon which

Grangegorman is being rebuilt.

47

THE GOLDEN BANDSTAND – Sculpture

Garrett Phelan continues to

explore art as function in

accessible environments. This

‘footprint’ is a signifier

for what will be situated

within sight of the general,

academic, educational and

nursing communities by summer

2021. Initially influenced by

the work of Dr. Joseph Lalor,

a Medical Superintendent at the

Grangegorman site in the 19 th

century, Phelan is committed

to art that is accessible to

people from all walks of life.

53

Solaris Nexum

Alexandra Carr explores our

changing connection to the sun

through technological shifts

of various ages. Comprised

of hundreds of triangular

polycarbonate panels that make

up a colossal helical sculpture

projected onto catenary arches,

it cascades down four floors

of the atrium in TU Dublin’s

Central Quad. This is a sitespecific

collaboration with

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

which will be installed by

summer 2021.

59

Endless Play

Walker and Walker’s sculpture

continues these artists’

questioning around the

relationship between the

observer and the observed.

Their intent is that this be

situated within the courtyard

of TU Dublin’s West Quad.

The artists are influenced

by Edouard Manet’s painting

Music in the Tuileries

(1862), housed in the Hugh

Lane Gallery Dublin, which

plays with similar concerns

to Diego Velazquez’ painting

Las Meninas. This is a sitespecific

collaboration with

Heneghan Peng Architects.

1 Extract from Dreams of a Summer

Night, New Collected Poems (2011),

by kind permission of the author,

Derek Mahon, and The Gallery Press.



65

The Blue of the Sky, The Green of the Grass,

The Red of a Rose

Fergus Martin takes into

account contemporary thinking

about assisted living by

creating colour-based paintings

for the shared areas within

the HSE Residential Care

Neighbourhood. This is a sitespecific

collaboration with

McCullough Mulvin Architects

and Todd Architects.

71

Phoenix Care Centre Art

Aisling Prior curated two

commissions – Joy Gerard, Dusk/

Dawn and Oisín Byrne, Long Live

the Weeds and the Wilderness

Yet for the HSE Phoenix Care

Centre. Essay by John Graham.

76

The Life of Loans: On the Politics

of Belonging and Co-Existence

Christina Kennedy, Senior

Curator: Head of Collections,

IMMA, writes about the role

of public institutions in

lending art. She describes

the unique lending scheme

devised to accommodate artists

to lend existing artworks to

the HSE Grangegorman Primary

Care Centre.

85

Stories Between Us

Janine Davidson creates a

bespoke memory box about play

through intergenerational

discussion and exchange between

young students and senior

citizens. This art project,

comprising workshops and

exhibition, involved partnering

with the National Museum of

Ireland, St. Gabriel’s National

School, Henrietta Adult &

Community Education Service

and Phibsboro Active Retirement

Association.

90

TU Dublin School of Creative Arts

Kieran Corcoran, Head of

Dublin School of Creative

Arts, gives an account of

the transformation of the

DIT School of Art, Design and

Printing into the TU Dublin

School of Creative Arts,

bringing the visual arts

together with music, drama,

film, gaming, media, languages,

the Humanities and Social

Sciences into a custom built

building with studios, concert

and recital halls.

95

Time As Form: Nasir El Safi, Hina Khan,

Hichem and Nala.

Anita Groener writes about

how the TU Dublin School of

Creative Arts opened its

annual summer studios programme

to artists from Spirasi, a

locally-based organisation that

works with asylum seekers and

refugees with a special concern

for survivors of torture,

and gives her experience of

curating a public exhibition

of resulting works.

101

Confinement

Trish McAdam writes about her

approach to creating a digital

film and outdoor projection

narrated through the fictional

voice of the deceased Henrietta

resident and dancer Tony

Rudenko. This work incorporates

her discovery of pre-1900

patients admission photographs

to The Richmond Asylum,

now housed in the National

Archives. With music by Roger

Doyle, this work contributes

to contemporary questions of

socially-acceptable norms and

the outcome of Colonialism.

107

The Aesthetics Group

Jeanette Doyle, Cathy

O’Carroll, Mick O’Hara and

Connell Vaughan write about The

Aesthetics Group – a research

group affiliated with The

Graduate School of Creative

Arts and Media (GradCam), whose

present focus is to research

the aesthetics of language and

politics in the digital age.

111

Crocosmia

Clodagh Emoe forms a community

of interest with Spirasi and

schools in the Dublin 7 area

to continue her investigation

of place that questions

received notions of what is

‘native’ and what is ‘foreign’.

Finding that croscosmiflora

(Montbretia) grows in the

locality and that it is native

to South Africa, the group

replanted a publicly accessible

seating area within the

Grangegorman campus, creating

a new place and metaphor for

diversity in Ireland.

116

Grangegorman

Luke McManus, a local resident

of Grangegorman, writes with

insight about living in the

locality during this period of

change and suggests that the

perceived fear associated with

mentioning ‘Grangegorman’ is

being rapidly transformed.

121

What Does He Need?

Brokentalkers, Fiona

Whelan, and Rialto Youth

Project supported by Create

have initiated an ongoing

performative workshop project

that explores how men and boys

are shaped by and influence the

world they live in. Essay by

Charlotte McIvor.

127

Wear a Bonnet – Living Art Installation

Christina Henri’s installation

began with an invitation that

grew to become a large public

gathering to mark and remember

those who were transported

from the Grangegorman depot to

Tasmania between 1840–1853.

131

Incarceration Altars

Bernie Masterson has produced

and toured a series of short

films by people in prison

based on a singular chosen

item. In this way she explores

relationships between person,

place and object. The work is

accompanied by a publication

with essay by Aislinn O’Donnell.

137

The Masterplan and I’ll Be In Your Camp:

Will You Be in Mine?

Jennie Guy curates these two

nodes alongside John Beattie,

Ella de Búrca, Karl Burke,

Naomi Sex, D7 Educate Together,

‘the Brunner’/St. Paul’s

CBS and TU Dublin School of

Creative Arts in creatively

questioning what school is,

was and will be for, and in

developing creative new ways of

bridging the gap between second

and third level students. Essay

by Fiona Gannon.

142

Home on the Grange

Emmett Scanlon, Aisling

McCoy and Paul Guinan engage

Grangegorman residents through

photography, print, song

and broadsheet to reveal the

diversity of creativity in

home-making that is rarely part

of architectural discourse.

149

Grown Home

Clare Anne O’Keefe and Hilary

Murray have researched and

devised a ‘net-art’ archive

that builds knowledge and

reflects on the heterogeneous

nature of the culinary profile

of people in Dublin 7.

155

NatureRX

Kaethe Burt O’Dea and the Bí

Urban team alongside many

collaborators share elements

from their ongoing campaign

for a green prescription for

Dublin’s north inner city.

161

1916: A Revolutionary Cabaret!

Judith Mok choreographs

an alternative Cabaret to

counteract the destruction

that was rampant in Ireland

and across Europe around 2016

century. This was premiered

in St. Laurence’s Church in

Grangegorman and recorded

for educational and touring

purposes.

167

City of Dublin Winter Solstice Festival;

A Creative Celebration of the Centenary Vote

for Women and Breaking Down the Walls

Mary Moynihan and the Smashing

Times team give accounts of

their work with, amongst

others, Aspire, St. Paul’s CBS

and the Edmund Rice Trust in

breaking down walls that keep

us from the unknown. Their work

involves a wide range of arts’

disciplines from story-telling

to filmmaking, best experienced

in the popular Winter Solstice

Festival co-hosted with

TU Dublin.

175

To Be. To Wallow. To Wonder.

Maree Hensey, in collaboration

with Kids’ Own Publishing and

TU Dublin’s Early Childhood

Education Programme, explores

how children engage all their

senses in the development of

language and expression.

181

The Glass Garden

Devised by Brian Cregan,

The Glass Garden is a lensbased

participatory workshop,

exhibition and publication with

youth within the Grangegorman

locale – Aosóg and Step-By-Step

and with TU Dublin’s School of

Creative Arts, that explores

themes of self-representation,

identity and belonging in the

changing environment. Essay by

Ann Curran.

187

One Hour Archive

Louis Haugh has created an

online, one-hour audio, text

and photography walking tour

of the rich social history of

Stoneybatter. It is led and

narrated by the voices of the

senior members of the Tuesday

Knitting Club in Aughrim Court

which was founded by local

legend Alice Fitzharris in 2005.

Essay by Nathan O’Donnell.

193

Grangegorman Drawings

Dorothy Smith muses on the act

of drawing and accompanies her

text with drawings undertaken

as part of a residency with

Sisk on the East Quad site.

198

Drawn Together

Conor Sreenan writes about

the commissioning of largescale

axonometric drawings by

plattenbaustudio which capture

the character and texture of

the Grangegorman site and

neighbourhood in its current

and potential future states.

200

Index

202

Acknowledgements



A note to

the reader

Jenny Haughton

Public Art Coordinator

This book is written by people interested in public art – artists themselves,

commissioners, communities relating through the arts, and all who wish to

understand the productive process.

I remember being struck by the Agency’s decision to appoint a dedicated

senior Public Art Coordinator to Grangegorman, and how this signaled intent that the

arts would be integral to the redevelopment process that began in 2007 and continues

to this day. From the outset, the Agency invested resources, including a lean

and agile team to ensure a visionary threading of the arts as part of Grangegorman’s

future. Being part of regular staff meetings was an eye-opener for me as an arts

professional, entering into the language of construction and safety with a diversity

of stakeholder and community interests. My work was guided by the independently

appointed and inspired Public Art Working Group.

The work of arts coordination is little written about, but sits between

curation and management, acquiring knowledge from both fields. Art and artists are

at the core of Per Cent for Art initiatives and it is the job of the Coordinator to work,

often invisibly, in ensuring that the productive process, however complex, retains its

artistic integrity and relevance. After five years, the value of the Agency’s dogged

commitment to the arts has been tested and proven and we continue to facilitate the

delivery of art works that will bring distinction to all that Grangegorman is becoming.

I began my work by taking a quixotic route that meandered amongst

artists, communities and agencies, picking up clues, listening, asking, being curious,

ruminating and pausing for thought. Amongst others, Ken McCue helped me get to

grips with the diversities of this part of the city; at night, Jimmy Leonard introduced

me to people sleeping rough in the area; Gráinne Foy raised issues around social inclusion;

Nora Rahill reminded me of good governance and stakeholder representation.

These encounters shook up theory and prior experience and they were vital parts

of the research and discursive process that led to ‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman

Public Art’s six pathways (2015). By devising the six pathway framework for procurement,

I wanted to provide time for artists to plan. This framework also provided for

an open call process for local communities to partner with artists. My intention was

to reduce bureaucracy and increase accessibility without compromising art practice

and accountability. Working with a bespoke Public Art Working Group has been this

Coordinator’s dream.

The introductory text by Prof. Ciarán Benson, Chair of the Public Art

Working Group, situates the reader in the social and aesthetic context. The Health

Service Executive address the question of what it takes to develop new services on

the historic site for same and new communities. Technological University Dublin

addresses the same question from an educational perspective, what does it take to

build a new technological university in the city in the 21st century? These early sec-

A NOTE TO THE READER 10–11

tions are intersected by exemplar interventions by artists Alan Phelan and Justine

McDonnell who tackle the institutional histories that will not be forgotten.

The rest of the book unfolds ‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman Public

Art (2013–2021). Each section is contained and autonomous. Together they form a

constellation of arts and community-based initiatives that arise from working with

artists, local people, curators, students, and public institutions. Through open calls

and engaged discussions with representative panelists, artists were themselves asking

the question, what can art do and be in this changing context?

The closing pages acknowledge the many artists, communities and

agencies who are the true authors of this book.

Often I wonder whether the young teenagers who engaged so imaginatively

with artist Brian Cregan in The Glass Garden will enter TU Dublin as students, or

whether those who worked with artist Bernie Masterson will continue to produce films

from their prison cells, and what artist Maree Hensey’s students will bring to the early

childhood environments. But then again, I wonder who will come to sit beside Clodagh

Emoe’s Crocosmia × that overlooks the playing fields, to wonder themselves about the

sign amongst the Montbretia and what it signifies. There is so much to imagine, wish

and work for in this heart of the city, including a sustained presence for the arts in life.

Public Art Coordinators never work alone. In closing, I acknowledge and

thank Lori Keeve who has been my right and left hand, and with whom I have had the

pleasure of compiling and editing this book.



‘…the lives we live’

Grangegorman Public

Art 2013–2021

Prof Ciarán Benson

Chair, Public Art Working Group

In my experience, a beckoning image is a welcome guide when setting

out on a new venture. And so it was when I was asked to help form and chair the Public

Art Working Group (PAWG) for the Grangegorman Development Agency in late

2013. This invitation coincided with the, then recent, publication of Derek Mahon’s

New Collected Poems in 2011. I was particularly taken with his very last poem, the

reflectively expansive Dreams of a Summer Night 1 which ends, in an air of perhaps

surprised gratitude, with the words ‘…the lives we live’. This summative phrase seemed

just right for the task ahead. So many lives, so many kinds of life, so much sadness

and, latterly, such hope and renewal have marked the district of Grangegorman that

here was a particularly fertile ground for artistic imaginations.

Bradóg Regional Youth Service perform Pauline Brennan’s ‘You Out There Change It’

in multiple languages, Culture Night 2015. Photo: Lori Keeve

‘…THE LIVES WE LIVE’ GRANGEGORMAN PUBLIC ART

As we began to unroll ‘…the lives we live’ project I was again looking for an

image of what it was we wanted to do. A young Albanian boy supplied it, though inadvertently.

At our public launch, Bradóg Youth Service performed. Pauline Brennan had

written a poem about addiction, You Out There Change It. Nine young ‘new’ Irish, each

with their own native language, stood in a line and together simultaneously recited the

poem, but each in their own native language. As one young Albanian man finished he

looked alarmed as each of the others continued speaking. Why? He, not unreasonably,

shared a belief that each language will say the same thing in the same duration of time.

His language, however, and to his own surprise, stopped earlier than the others and he

was visibly left with nothing more to say. He had noticed something highly significant

for the first time. If there can be large differences in ways of saying the same thing,

what rich differences might we expect in ways of speaking differently of similar things?

There is so much to say, and so many ways to say it, in the lives we live.

In a major urban development on an historic site, such as the Grangegorman

Development, there is indeed much to say. ‘…the lives we live’ has been about

enabling genuinely important things to be said and shown. The challenge has been

to enable that saying and showing, performing and imaging, engaging and reflecting,

without being unduly prescriptive. This meant constructing partnerships between

those who could authentically speak of lives led in the vicinity of Grangegorman and

artists of various kinds who could shape what might be said, or remembered, into

compelling and original expressions. In brief, this meant enabling artists and local

citizens to animate the experiences of those who live, and once lived, in the vicinity

of Grangegorman.

In a sense, ‘…the lives we live’ has been a natural experiment in two parts.

The first concerned particular local community aspirations and preoccupations. The

second forged larger-scale, artist-led engagements with specific sites within the

overall campus design. So far Public Art Working Group (PAWG) has commissioned

four major site-specific art works. From its strategic position, Garrett Phelan’s joyful,

fully-functional THE GOLDEN BANDSTAND – Sculpture will serve the whole campus.

Alexandra Carr’s richly complex Solaris Nexum will grace TU Dublin’s new Central

Quad with its celebratory explorations of science, sun and light. Walker and Walkers’

Endless Play will enhance the public spaces of the West Quad. For the HSE Residential

Care Neighbourhood, Fergus Martin The Blue of the Sky, The Green of the Grass, The

Red of a Rose is working to enliven the experience of those coming to live in these

interconnected homes by making richly colourful works, with blues, greens and reds

referencing sky, grass and roses. This will complement the already completed works

by Oisín Byrne Long Live The Weeds and The Wilderness Yet and Joy Gerrard Dusk/

Dawn in the HSE’s Phoenix Care Centre.

PAWG has also funded 27 community projects. The aim in this latter

strand has been to explore themes of local interest that arise in dialogue with the

artists who responded to, and engaged with, our various calls. Consistent themes

emerged, symptomatic perhaps of the early communal dynamics which can arise

when transforming an historic urban setting like Grangegorman – with its own dark

histories – into a vibrant, optimistic new urban quarter.

The works and events that emerged from this strand of PAWG’s work

harmonised well with the injunction of the Finnish-American architect, Eliel Saarinen,

who, in 1950, advised:

‘Always design a thing by considering it in

its next larger context – a chair in a room, room in a

house, a house in an environment, an environment in

a city plan.’ 2

12–13



‘…THE LIVES WE LIVE’ GRANGEGORMAN PUBLIC ART 14–15

We supported 27 projects which together involved 64 artists and 50

organisations. Here are just some of the themes, at least as I discern them, which

emerged from the experiences of people living within what has been designed,

whether deliberately or by historical happenstance, in the domestic and urban hinterland

of Grangegorman. Each of these projects will be detailed in the substance of

this book, but here is a birds-eye view of some of the topics which came into focus.

A pervasive concern turned out to be ideas of ‘home’ and, more specifically,

of ‘homemaking’. Home is where you live, but where you live requires further

acts to transform a habitation into a home, acts of personalisation and of ownership.

Prisoners turn tiny appropriated spaces in their cells into ‘incarceration altars’. Echoes

of past inmates/patients speak to us through relics of their troubled existence that

they would have kept close to themselves (rosary beads, scapulars, etc.), and which

have been retrieved from the abandoned asylum. Related themes of ‘confinement’,

‘walls’ to be broken down, and the intergenerational expansion of the horizons of

lived memory were also prominent. The hidden memories that many ‘new’ Irish bring

with them (exile and, perhaps, searing memories of abuse and grief) fed into themes

of dispossession and dislocation. Social history, transformational political histories,

and prospective ecological concerns joined the leavening process of this strand of

PAWG’s work. But so too did optimistic celebratory projects such as actively nurturing

the development of new young ‘voices’.

All of this, and more, was accomplished on very limited budgets. The

Per Cent for Art scheme allowed for the pooling of monies, but those quantities were

severely limited by remaining at levels capped in 1996. We successfully added our

voice to the argument for substantially revising those quanta upwards for future developments.

The new dispensation hopefully will come into force from 2020 onwards.

Our work should be understood as just the first of many phases of

enhancement of the newly emerging Grangegorman urban quarter. We developed

one model for the particular period of time for which we had responsibility. We hand

on the baton confidently to our successors.

The lives we live are profoundly shaped by the opportunities that our

environments afford us. But there is a dynamic tension between the familiar and the

new, what we call ‘home’ and what must make ‘home’, that is the source of our noticing

what to appreciate and what to change in our own local worlds. Art helps keep that

dynamic well-oiled. Eavan Boland began her poem In Our own Country with the words

‘They are making a new Ireland

At the end of our road’

And ended it with these:

‘We walk Home. What we know is this

(and this is all we know): We are now

and we will always be from now on –

for all I know we have always been –

exiles in our own country.’ 3

A salutary thought from a life well lived.

1 Mahon, D. (2011). New Collected Poems. Oldcastle: The Gallery Press.

2 Saarinen, E. (1950). Time Magazine, July 2. See, also, Benson, C. (2013). Acts not Tracts! Why a complete

psychology of art and identity must be neuro-cultural. In: T. Roald and, J, Langed, eds. Art and identity:

Essays on the aesthetic creation of mind. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi. pp.39-65.

3 Boland, E. (2014). In: P. Meehan and J.A. Randolph, ed. A Poet’s Dublin. Manchester: Carcanet Press. pp.81.



16–17

Making it:

Cities Under

Co-Construction

Prof. Doris

Sommer

Pre-Texts Training for Trainers Workshop, TU Dublin, June 2019: Participants. Photo: Lori Keeve



MAKING IT: CITIES UNDER CO- CONSTRUCTION 18–19

Until recently, UN advice for achieving safety in cities

focused on policing and infrastructure. The new ‘Guidelines’

offer a welcome people-centered focus. But so

far, there is no connection between safety and art. This

may be predictable, given conventional practices, but

the document is full of illustrations of the work art does

for safety. Illustration for the editors evidently means

decoration rather than exemplarity. The UN document

doesn’t comment on a brightly painted barrio, 1

graffiti

murals, hip-hop singers, break dancers, a gender balanced

drumming band. 2

This is a curable blind spot, if we look at what participatory arts do for

safety. Entertainment is different; it can be enjoyed passively. But the dynamic youth

who will build or ravage our cities either actively participate or they resist. 3 And resistance

can lead to violence, which simmers during the lockdown. Our opportunity is to

redirect – not extinguish – youthful energy, because policing and punishment have

not worked well, nor has investment in infrastructure.

A people-centered approach can close the short circuit between high

investments and low results, through cost-effective investments in art. Why will art

work? A short answer is that arts can include everyone. 4 For our purposes, let’s prefer

the definition of art as process of making and thinking, over art as product.

Who is an artist and who a thinker? Potentially all of us, to follow Friedrich

Schiller who wrote on aesthetics during the French Revolution’s Terror. Slyly, he asks,

if art is untimely for violent times. His answer, bold and compelling, is that without

art nothing changes, neither violence nor despair. Art means change; it rejects tired

patterns and sparks conversation. 5

People are naturally creative he knew – this is clear precisely in poor

neighborhoods that recycle and make-do. As a vital activity, art links to dignity,

because artists know they are not victims. They have options and make decisions

under constraints. People feel proud of their creations and they respect beautiful

things. ‘Beauty was acting like a guardsman,’ Mayor Edi Rama said, ‘where municipal

police, or the state itself, were missing.’ 6 He invited citizens to deliberate about color

and design for painting over old grey buildings.

Choices in art-making let youth take control of material without trashing

it. ‘Symbolic violence’ is another name for art and a route away from the real thing.

Choices also help get beyond feeling emotionally stuck, typical of trauma. 7 We can

therefore promote safer cities through social inclusion, healing, and development, by

recognising all people as potential artists and co-creators.

Vanguards

There are good examples of participatory arts that co-construct safer

cities. Think of Antanas Mockus, elected Mayor of Bogotá when many had given up

on the city. What did he reply in 1995 when his Secretary of Culture said there was

nothing to be done, that it was time to bring out the clowns? Clowns, he said, was a

good idea. He hired 20 pantomime artists to replace 20 corrupt traffic police. The

results were hilarious at the expense of rule breakers, so pedestrians and drivers came

to recognise traffic lights and cross-walks as props for public performance.

When traffic deaths reduced by over 50% in the first year, the ‘yes we can’

spirit went after drug traffickers too. Over the Mayor’s two terms in office, homicides

dropped by 70% and tax income tripled to finance infrastructure and education. Citizens

on public streets learned to be active stakeholders of their city, not passive or

resentful wards.

Another leader is Gilberto Gil, Brazil’s Minister of Culture from 2003-

2008. He pioneered ‘Pontos de cultura’ 8 to support everyday artists who generate

social collectives in neighborhoods with restless youth (Afro-Regae in Rio de Janeiro

is a good example). The grants were modest, but the public recognition was great.

This is a grass roots approach to inclusion. In Venezuela, by contrast, classical music

instruction promotes inclusion and cohesion for the country’s poorest children, also

through neighborhoods. Not all will be professional musicians, but they learn discipline

and the pleasure of sounding good together. 9 Both initiatives are models for

violence prevention throughout the region. 10

Everyday arts along with the education to manage projects, can multiply

the offer of local attractions and keep tourists eager to visit and revisit a variety of

destinations. This is a gambit we can make with Pontos de cultura. Even in destinations

that may be off-limits security risks become navigable with grassroots guides.

The ‘Museo Popular’ in Siloé Cali comes to mind. It is a home damaged by decades

of civil war in a neighborhood that’s vulnerable on good days and downright dangerous

on others. But the ‘curator’ and resident David Gomez gives guided tours of

the wreckage and guarantees the safety of his many visitors, students, scholars, and

other outsiders who come to learn local history from expert participant observers.

David’s authority and the respect he earns are better safeguards than any armed and

underpaid policeman with ambivalent loyalties. 11

Worldwide, exclusions by race and social class confirm unconscionable

disparities as the rates of contagion and death multiply 6 or 7 fold among marginalized

people. This backdrop to the brutality of US police and the riots that responded

demand urgent attention, to put out fires, to supply food, medical care, even as we

confront the impossibility to de-densify

most poor neighborhoods. But, for safer

cities, we will have to address the practices

that perpetuate exclusion and that

stoke resentment and future violence.

General education through

the arts is crucial for primary prevention

of violence and teen pregnancy. Elite

families can pay for creative schools,

Pre-Texts Workshop in Grangegorman, June 2019.

Photo: Lori Keeve

while poor families cannot. Do the poor

learn differently from the rich? This

implied assumption has perpetuated

exclusion and dissuaded ‘experts’ from

co-constructing safer cities. Expert

advice can backfire in vandalism, as if

to say: You cannot decide for us. Either

people will be partners or they will be

refusniks.

To mention Mockus, Rama, and Gil may inspire you to name more mayors

and ministers who know that arts work for inclusion. Perhaps you will be one, and

promote the ‘40 Days Safety Challenge’ to seed self-sustaining proposals for participatory

arts.

There is no lack of documentation about the effectiveness of art programs.

I direct two: Pre-Texts, an arts-based literacy program. An important workshop

with sequels – in prison, immigration center, schools – is the collaboration in 2018

with Grangegorman. The uncanny selection of text was Michel Foucault’s chapter on

Panopticism from Discipline and Punish; it traces the construction of political control

through the mechanisms of public health control during the plague of XVIII.



MAKING IT: CITIES UNDER CO-CONSTRUCTION 20–21

Context

In June 2016, to coincide with

Bloomsday, TU Dublin hosted an

introductory session on Pre-

Texts, developed by Dr. Doris

Sommer. Pre-Texts combines

high-order literacy, innovation

and citizenship. It encourages

educators to ‘re-tool’ for

‘close reading’ and getting

‘beyond’ a text. Pre-Texts is

suitable for groups of all ages

and abilities and favours the

shy or disenfranchised reader

and learner.

This led to an intensive Pre-

Texts Training the Trainers

Workshop in June 2019.

The planning and delivery of

this Workshop was undertaken by

a cross sectoral Steering Group

including Vanessa Fielding,

Artistic Director, Complex

Productions, Gráinne Foy, Social

Inclusion Coordinator, North

West Inner City Network, Siobhan

Geoghegan, Artistic Director,

Common Ground, Kathleen

McCann, Employment and Training

Coordinator, Grangegorman Labour

and Learning Forum and Julie

Stafford, Senior Development

Manager, TU Dublin. Meetings

were hosted by the North West

Inner City Network.

The Pre-Texts Training for

Trainers was undertaken in two

parts: firstly through workshop

sessions facilitated by Doris

Sommer, and secondly by trainees

with their own communities.

The primary text for the first

workshop was an extract from

Foucault, Michel. Discipline

& Punish, (1975), Panopticism

III. For in-community workshops,

texts utilised by trainees

included O’Brien, E. (1986).

The Country Girls; Donaldson,

J, Scheffler, A. (1999) The

Gruffalo; Joyce, J. (1914).

The Dead. Dubliners; Kearns, C.

(1989) Stoneybatter – Dublin’s

Inner Urban Village; Mulligan,

A. (2010), Trash; Owell, G.

(1945), Animal Farm.

The other current project is ‘Futebol Viral,’ a deterrent to domestic violence.

What authorities lack is not evidence but rather a rationale for art as violence

prevention. That rationale should be clear by now:

- Art redirects violent energies toward socially cohesive activities.

- Recognizing everyone as a potential artist closes the short circuit that

‘targets’ people with paternalist expertise.

- Public spaces co-designed with communities become precious and

protected.

- Educating through art prepares citizens to be resilient and collaborative.

1 www.bbc.com/mundo/video_fotos/2015/08/150819_fotos_mexico_pachuca_las_palmitas_mural_ng ‘El proyecto

‘Pachuca se pinta’ desarrollado por el colectivo de artistas Germen Crew y financiado por el gobierno local,

pretende aprovechar la transformación del espacio público del barrio para facilitar la integración de sus

residentes…Además de crear el mural más grande de México, la iniciativa logró bajar sustancialmente los índices

de criminalidad.’

2 https://unhabitat.org/united-nations-system-wide-guidelines-on-safer-cities-and-human-settlements

3 In his essay on ‘The emerging lessons from COVID-19 on vulnerability and safety,’ Jaideep Gupte makes a similar

point. ‘Planners, designers and municipal administrators need to treat the police and emergency services as

equal stakeholders.’ We should add educators, artists, and community leaders. Example of standard approach to

infrastructure, Antioquia, http://www.eafit.edu.co/centros/urbam/proyectos/Paginas/proyectos.aspx

4 Sommer, D. (2014). The Work of Art in the World: Civic agency and Public Humanities. Duke University Press:

Durham.

5 Raymond Williams, Keywords, 1977, Prologue. UNESCO collapses these definitions in Universal Declaration on

Cultural Diversity (2001), Culture is ‘the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of

a society or a social group that encompasses art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems,

traditions and beliefs.’

6 www.ted.com/talks/edi_rama_take_back_your_city_with_paint?language=en

7 Danieli Y. (2009). Massive Trauma and The Healing Role of Reparative Justice. In: C. Ferstman, M. Goetz, & A.

Stephens, eds. Reparations for Victims of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity: Systems in Place

and Systems in the Making. Leiden; Boston: Martinus Niijhoff. pp.41–77.

8 Ariel Nunes, ‘Pontos de cultural ’ construção e de integração das políticas locais, nacionais e globais.’ www.

casaruibarbosa.gov.br/dados/DOC/palestras/Politicas_Culturais/II_Seminario_Internacional/FCRB_ArielNunes_

Pontos_de_cultura_e_os_novos_paradigmas_das_politicas_publicas_culturais.pdf See also https://pt.wikipedia.org/

wiki/Pontos_de_Cultura

9 www.ted.com/talks/jose_antonio_abreu_the_el_sistema_music_revolution/transcript?language=en

10 Alvaro Restrepo, Artistic Director of El colegio del cuerpo in Cartagena, Colombia, is a particular and eloquent

example: ‘Talent is when we discover the reasons to be in this world and live according to these. But above all,

talent is a deep desire for personal transformation, and by doing it we transform those around us.’

11 www.qhubocali.com/con-la-gente/la-casa-de-los-recuerdos

Trainee participants were

nominated by the City of Dublin

Education and Training Board

(CDETB) Educational Service to

Prison, Complex Youth Theatre,

Common Ground Arts Organisation,

Dublin Adult Learning Centre,

Glencree Centre for Peace &

Reconciliation, Henrietta Street

Alternative School, Dublin

7, Independent Artists and

Storeytellers, MOST Garda Youth

Diversion Project, Bradóg Youth

Service, the National College

of Art and Design, the North

West Inner City Network Gateway

Project, Pathways Centre,

Dublin 1, Stanhope Street Girls

Secondary School, Dublin 7,

St. Michael’s Family Resource

Centre, Dublin 8, St. Paul’s

Primary, Dublin 7, Wheatfield

Prison Education Unit, Dublin 22

and the Writer’s Centre, Dublin.

Participants: Tom Adams,

Michelle Brown, Erin Campbell,

Sinéad Clancy, Eilish Comerford,

Brian Cregan, Clodagh Emoe,

Gráinne Foy, Anthony Goulding,

Claire Jegousse, Phil Keane,

Lisa Kilbride, Jimmy Leonard,

Bernie Masterson, Shilo Mbulle,

Emma O’Brien, Anne O’Connor,

Bríd O’Mahony, Laragh Pittman,

Robert Robinson, Jean Ryan,

Leonie Tang.

A printed publication ‘Pre-

Texts experience in Ireland’

including an essay by TU Dublin

PhD Candidate Emma O’Brien is

available. This publication was

made possible with support from

the Grangegorman Area Based

Childhood (ABC) programme that

is funded by the Department

of Children and Youth Affairs

through Tusla. Grangegorman ABC

targets investment in services

to improve outcome for children

and their families, in the North

West Inner City Area of Dublin.

It enables greater interagency

collaboration to ensure services

make the most impact, are timely

and accessible, and have the

potential to be sustainable.

‘Pre-Texts — the Irish

Experience’ was presented at the

Consortium of Humanities Centers

and Institution conference on

Wednesday 19 June in Trinity

College Dublin.

Pre-Texts received additional

support from Dublin City Council

and the Ireland Funds.

Links

www.pre-texts.org

www.culturalagents.org

Pre-Texts encourages educators to go ‘beyond’ the text.

Complex texts become prompts for creating a choreography,

a painting, a storyboard or a spoken word poem allowing

participants to deeply engage with the content. Photo: Lori Keeve

Pre-Texts learnings in action, Grangegorman

Workshop, June 2019. Photo: Lori Keeve



Some New Life

For This Old Town

Ger Casey

Chief Executive Officer

Grangegorman Development

Agency

I’ve been involved in the redevelopment of Grangegorman for over a

decade, starting out as Director of Architecture and now as CEO of the Grangegorman

Development Agency (GDA). The revitalisation of this distinctive part of Dublin, with

its rich and uneasy past, is as exciting now as it was then.

As the Agency responsible for the redevelopment of the site, our purpose

in the GDA is to redevelop the grounds of the former St. Brendan’s Hospital into a

new piece of city with a vibrant, sustainable community. The development of the site

includes a world-class integrated campus for both TU Dublin and the Health Service

Executive (HSE).

The process of revitalising an urban area is a complex task that requires

the support of national Government and wider society. It also requires patience, commitment

and, at times, a leap of faith. At its core is a belief that the outcome of the

project will enhance the lives of the people who live, work and study there.

It begins with a vision that must excite and engage key stakeholders from

the outset, but that also has the capacity to evolve and endure over time. In the case

of Grangegorman, the fundamental building blocks in achieving the vision were already

there – a great location,

a passionate community,

and clear objectives set

out by TU Dublin and the

HSE.

The next step

is to entice the most innovative

and creative talents

to help realise the vision.

We achieved this initially

The Grangegorman Playground, opened to the community

in 2015. Photo: Lori Keeve

through an international

competition that was

won by architectural firm,

Moore Ruble Yudell (MRY)

and DMOD Architects.

Their vision has stood

the test of time and won

international acclaim. This

approach has been repeated for the design of the various buildings and elements of

infrastructure being delivered as part of the revitalisation.

This commitment to talent must also be reflected in the delivery team,

who need to be highly skilled and sufficiently resourced. A key aspect of their role is to

act as champions for the vision and to continue to drive it forward. In a project of this

scale, decisions can often be made on the basis of cost, convenience, or a lack of understanding.

The delivery team must work collaboratively with key stakeholder groups

– be they internal stakeholders, funders, end users, or the local area – to continuously

remind them of the vision and to promote its shared value and unifying characteristics.

SOME NEW LIFE FOR THIS OLD TOWN 22–23

Another critical element is quality, both in terms of the design, as well as

the materials used. Visual impact, shared and universal use, as well as longevity are all

factors that need to be considered in this regard. Provision also needs to be made for

emerging and future technologies in a way that is flexible, unobtrusive and engaging.

This, of course, needs to be balanced against the realities of budget constraints, the

capacity and capability of the market, as well as timelines for delivery.

Revitalisation, however, is not just about bricks and mortar. It requires an

understanding of the importance of ‘place’ in terms of social and cultural engagement.

One of the best decisions we made was to provide a high quality public realm. This

contributed greatly to the transformation of Grangegorman from being a place where

people were ‘sent to’ – to being a place where people wanted to be.

Another significant strand of the Agency’s work has been the commissioning

of public art. Given the rich and poignant history of Grangegorman, and the

transformational nature of the project we were beginning to undertake, we wanted to

get the very best out of the public art strand. We knew this would be limited financially,

and we wanted to avoid an ad hoc arrangement of individual art projects per

building, so with expert help, we created an Art Strategy to optimise the delivery of

public art, and this led to the creation of the independent Public Art Working Group

(PAWG). This group was to be led and supported by people who had the passion, drive,

understanding and reputation for public arts, and who could represent the various

stakeholders and actors involved in Grangegorman. We have been very lucky to have

Ciarán Benson's expertise in chairing and leading the PAWG, and to have appointed

Jenny as Public Art Coordinator. The group has truly delivered over this period, devising

various pathways to capture the depth and breadth of artistic talent and explore

themes relevant to Grangegorman and those whose lives have been touched by the

place over the years. The public art pathways were designed to reflect the past, present

and future of Grangegorman and to inspire curiosity, conversation and connection

among its communities.

Given the success of the PAWG model, a similar structure was used for

the establishment of Grangegorman Histories. This project has the aim of contributing

to the uncovering, cataloguing and commemoration of the rich and chequered history

of the area.

Finally, revitalisation must be seen as a continuum and in the context of

the broader challenges of society. These can have both a push and pull effect on the

progress of a project. Some of these challenges can be planned for, such as budgetary

and labour issues. Others are more complex and unpredictable, such as our lived

experience of COVID-19, and the impacts of climate change and artificial intelligence

– which will change how people work, live, and interact with each other.

These factors will all influence why urban spaces develop and how people

adapt. In revitalising historic and culturally significant parts of the city like Grangegorman,

our role is to ensure they remain resilient to these challenges and that their

communities continue to thrive long into the future.



A Masterplan for

the 21 st Century

John Mitchell

Director DMOD Architects,

Grangegorman Masterplanner

Creating a Masterplan

The lead designer and our partner in the Masterplan development, James

O’Connor of MRY, is fond of saying that a Masterplan is setting the table properly, not

serving the meal. It is no simple matter however to ‘set the table’ properly and a good

masterplan is a combination of and a reflection on many different considerations, the

final Masterplan document produced by the team listed nearly 20 principles, including

Public Art.

Part of the success of Grangegorman is the integration of the lands into

the fabric of the city, a key Masterplan principle being Connectivity. Previously the

lands, by the nature of their use were closed off from the city with the only boundary

on a major road being an imperforate north facing black calp limestone wall along the

North Circular Road. One is reminded of Kavanagh’s words ‘My Black hills have never

seen the sun rising’ and millions of Dubliners have sped by the site oblivious to the

potential behind the wall.

Before there was ever a Masterplan, however, there was a vision of a

committed group to develop the site for, the now Technological University Dublin

and healthcare uses for the HSE. And perhaps luck too, few cities having 73 acres

available for a substantial new use in the heart of the city. And it is the heart of the

city, standing on Capel Street bridge you are as near Grangegorman as you are St.

Stephens Green, a 15-minute walk both ways. Together with a great location, there

was a range of fine historic buildings, dating from 1804, and some fine stands of trees.

That is not to say that exploiting these features is a simple matter. A good example,

is an extant tree-lined Allee, designed purely as a path to walk down and back, a

therapeutic landscape element that now links the past with the present. While this

may seem like a small thing, the technical challenges of keeping a few hundred metres

of a tree-lined path while placing playing pitches and bleachers on either side was a

technical challenge both in design and construction. It is one of many examples of

an apparently simple component being delivered through great commitment and the

guidance of the Masterplan.

We tend to think of a vision as something ethereal, thinking of George

H.W. Bush’s famous quote ‘Oh, the Vision thing’. But in fairness to President Bush,

visions are ground in practicalities. Too often in this country, we develop buildings

ahead of the necessary infrastructure, think of Ballymun or the early iteration of the

IFSC. Part of the courageous vision at the Grangegorman Development Agency was,

in very dark times for the country, the decision to invest in the infrastructure of the

site, ahead of any buildings. The then CEO describing this strategy as ‘Live horse, get

grass’. DMOD were privileged to be involved in the design and delivery of this first

major project which built out a large element of the Public Realm with the highest

quality hard and soft landscape, playing pitches and playgrounds. In the modern masterplan

what can be seen is dwarfed by what lies hidden. Of the approximate €25m

budget less than a third can be accounted for by the elements visible above ground.

Also required in developing a piece of city are pipes for water and drainage, conduits

for digital communications, district heat pipes, retaining structures, substations.

A MASTERPLAN FOR THE 21ST CENTURY 24–25

If what is needed for the completed campus is not in the ground from the beginning,

there will be endless digging up of roads here.

The other elements that make a successful masterplan are those important

intangibles; the governing, briefing and management structures put in place to

deliver high quality structures to match the original vision. There has been very careful

attention, for instance, to ensure the government procurement rules are not an

impediment to delivery of a top class campus and ‘price’ in Price/Value assessment

is the lesser partner. Oscar Wilde’s famous quote is never more apt. ‘The cynic knows

the price of everything and the value of nothing.’ 1

The influence of the Masterplan doesn’t stop at the boundary of the

Quarter. For instance, DMOD are currently designing a large complex on an adjacent

site which will give access to the west of the site from Prussia Street along a pedestrian

street called Bó Lane. The Bó Lane Gallery will be a collaboration with the TU

Dublin School of Creative Arts and will feature the work of the School’s students.

Finally, with regard to the another element of intangible structures so

central to the success of the Masterplan is the arts strategy itself, adopted and

strongly supported by the Authority and to which this publication itself is a testament.

Grangegorman Masterplan Sketch

What follows is a note on the conceptual sketch from an early stage in

the Masterplan design process from James Mary O’Connor, Masterplanner, Moore

Ruble Yudell Architects.

It suggests the Campus and landscape reconnecting with the city as a

continuous flow. Right from the start, I had felt the Grangegorman site was a missing

piece within the city with the power to reconnect to its larger surroundings. The

large curve lines capture the bucolic landscape

that was preserved within the walls

of Grangegorman. Having grown up in

Phibsboro, I already saw the opportunity

to connect it on east to Broadstone, King’s

Inns and Royal Canal Bank, and on the

west to Prussia Street and eventually the

Phoenix Park. The campus would have a

series of academic quadrangles each one

with its own identity that would be two

centres (two hearts): academic heart at the

top of the site and a social heart at Broadstone.

The pedestrian walkway, which we

called St. Brendan’s Way, connects the

journey across the site and connects the

two hearts through the existing historical

buildings out to North Circular Road.

The sketch was drawn on a

Saturday morning overlooking the Pacific Ocean remembering the numerous times I

cycled around the perimeter of Grangegorman, navigating my journey from home to

the Dublin Institute of Technology architectural college known then as Bolton Street.

Grangegorman Masterplan sketch by James Mary O’Connor

1 Wilde, O. (performed 1892), Lady Windemere’s Fan, (1940), The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays,

Penguin Books.



Caring at

Grangegorman: Past,

Present and Future

Derek Dockrell

Architectural Advisor,

Health Service Executive

I.

Grangegorman has a rich and complex history as a piece of Dublin; for

over 200 years institutions on the site have reacted to the situations as existed in the

city and accommodated facilities that were considered necessary and appropriate.

The site at Grangegorman, initially accommodated the House of Industry which was

set up in the 1770s; the ‘lunatic asylum’ was then developed to transfer ‘the curable

lunatics’ from the House of Industry in 1810, and then the penitentiary was opened in

1820. The institution evolved as did its name becoming Grangegorman Mental Hospital

and more recently, St. Brendan’s Hospital. Over these years, it has served the needs

of the city and the inhabitants, accommodating those most disadvantaged and those

who struggled most with the challenges that life presented. The common good was

considered more important than the individual, for whom admission, containment and

incarceration often caused long-term damage. Individuals were left in an environment

that they struggled to cope with and which did not always assist with the particular

challenges of their condition.

Grangegorman’s past has provided two parallel sets of records, the medical

records and the informal documents and artefacts left by residents. The official

medical records are one of the most complete records from such an institution in

Europe; they have been conserved (with the support of the Wellcome Foundation)

and are now in the National Archives. Alternative stories are told in the informal documents

and artefacts from residents. These were retained by Father Piaras Ó’Dúill, Dick

Bennett and others. These include letters, spectacles, rosary beads, photographs,

purses, handbags, etc. – objects that artist Alan Counihan has used for his Personal

Effects works and are now on display in the Primary Care Centre.

The progressive nature of the treatment and care under those in charge

including Dr Connolly Norman and Dr Ivor Browne is evident by their important roles

in the development of the treatment of mental health illnesses in Ireland. At the same

time, their roles and the institution have become part of Dublin history and folklore.

‘He is up in Dottyville with Connolly Norman’

James Joyce, Ulysses

II.

When one considers the more recent role of Grangegorman in the city and

the redevelopment of the site as a health and educational campus, one has to understand

that many Dubliners are not familiar with Grangegorman as part of the city; they are

familiar with Constitution Hill, Stoneybatter, North Brunswick Street and North Circular

Road but what lies within has for many Dubliners been an unchartered area and not part

of many Dubliners’ mapping of the city. The institution had frontage onto Grangegorman

Road which divided the site. The high walls on either side masked what lay within and the

tunnel (to allow for safe transfer of patients from one side to the other) under the road

ensured that only those who entered the site understood what was within.

CARING AT GRANGEGORMAN: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 26–27

The master plan proposed by Moore Ruble Yudell and DMOD Architects

opened up the site; permeability is provided on all sides and this allows connections

previously not possible especially east/west. This opening up onto Constitution Hill,

North Circular Road, Manor Street and Prussia Street has allowed the site to become

a community resource with convenient access through new connections. The site has

provided space for much needed healthcare facilities, a primary school and amenity

space with playgrounds. All of these were badly needed and encourage those living in

the area to consider the Grangegorman site as part of their environment rather than

apart, as it was historically.

The first healthcare building developed as part of the Masterplan was

the Phoenix Care Centre which was built to accommodate the residents who were

still in the old Victorian buildings. The move into the Phoenix Care Centre allowed

the original buildings to be refurbished for TU Dublin and their initial move onto the

site. The intention and aspiration was to provide a building which respected and valued

the residents, and focussed on improving their conditions and their transition

back into the community. Generous space standards, good day lighting, and access to

landscaped areas all contributed to the wellbeing of the individuals and improved outcomes.

The building, designed by Moloney O’Beirne, won the RIAI Healthcare Building

of the Year in 2013.

The next building completed, designed by Taylor Architects, was the

Primary Care Centre which brought the original laundry building back into use, having

been unoccupied for some time. The building now provides access to a range

of services including a GP practice, primary

care teams including public health

nurses, physiotherapists, occupational

therapists, speech and language therapists,

along with a Child and Adolescent

Mental Health unit. In addition an Audiology

Unit and Ophthalmology Suite are

provided which cover the north city. All

of these have brought those living in the

area onto the site for the services on a

regular basis – a site that had excluded

The new Grangegorman Primary Care Centre,

opened 2017. Photo: Donal Murphy

them previously.

A further building, a residential

care setting, is at pre-planning

stage and will be providing homes for

the elderly, those with dementia and

residents with mental health issues. The

building will allow those needing care to

remain in the area where they live. The residents will be grouped in households in a

building designed by McCullough Mulvin and TODD Architects. The building poses

many challenges and is a novel building type for the HSE in that it is an urban and

multilevel residential care setting with households stacked with external terraces/roof

gardens on each level. The building will be combined with the Primary Care Centre to

form a residential care neighbourhood within the one block and it is hoped that this will

become a template for the co-location of Residential Care and Primary Care Centres.

Bringing these community services onto the site is an important part

of the vision for the campus so that the site does not only become a healthcare and

education campus but a piece of the city where there is continuity of use for those

in the local community. Grangegorman as a site provides facilities for all ages; for the

young through the EIT (early intervention), paediatric audiology and ophthalmology

services and for the elderly homes and GP and primary care services.



CARING AT GRANGEGORMAN: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

28–29

III.

Grangegorman is ideally located to provide healthcare services to the

north inner city and to those in the community in the years to come. The proximity

to tertiary hospitals at St. James Hospital and the Mater allows the site to become

part of the universal healthcare infrastructure. The strategy as set out in Sláintecare

is to provide non-acute and community services within the area they serve; continuity

between the acute hospitals, non-acutes and community services reduces the

demands on the acute hospitals. Both Primary Care Centres and Residential Care Centres

play an important part in the overall strategy. Grangegorman Primary Care Centre

is part of the developing network of primary care centres constructed or planned on

the north-side which include Summerhill and Navan Road Primary Care Centres.

The Grangegorman Masterplan as proposed provides flexibility for the

future and will allow additional sub-acute services to be co-located as part of the

healthcare hub at Grangegorman.

COVID-19 and the ensuing pandemic, has brought challenges to healthcare,

including understanding that each individual has a part to play in public health;

individuals have reacted well to the need for them to contribute to the health of others

by cocooning and isolating. The pandemic was the first experience for many people

of remote consultations with healthcare professionals. It has also changed the pattern

of how individuals accessed services. How services are provided will evolve further

in the coming years.

As the HSE comes to terms with COVID-19 and the delivery of healthcare

with the changes required by coronavirus, Grangegorman will develop as a key

hub serving those living in the north inner city and the community surrounding the

site – all of this will be based on a patient-centred approach to healthcare as set out

in Sláintecare.

The Phoenix Care Centre, the new mental health hospital at Grangegorman,

opened in 2013. Photo: Ros Kavanagh



30–31

Breaking

the Rule

of Silence

Justine McDonnell, Breaking The Rule of Silence, live performance, 18 September 2016. Photo: Laura Skehan

Justine

McDonnell



BREAKING THE RULE OF SILENCE

32–33

The conscious refusal to uncover that which was

declared invisible can often distort representation

of the self. This active invisibility will often reveal an

opportunity to distinguish the who and the what we

discern against the standard of ‘other’. Peggy Phelan

states that representation follows two laws: it always

conveys more than it intends; and it is never totalising.

The ‘excess’ meaning conveyed by representation

creates a supplement that makes multiple readings

possible. 1 When it comes to the non-dominant subject

within a culture, representation will always generate

ruptures due to its inability to recreate an authentic

image of self. It is among the most traumatic eras of

Irish history where we find such coercion towards invisibility

and ‘other’.

Art in the public realm has the ability to consider the history of its wide

and narrow context and through its contemporary implications. Breaking the Rule of

Silence approaches performance and the presence of the body in just this way. Taking

place in the architecturally dour Clock Tower of Grangegorman, we are reminded

of the grounds’ history as a psychiatric hospital. Following on from a dark history it

remains the case that a high percentage of women incarcerated in the infamous Magdalene

Laundries had been sent to Grangegorman to be silenced and abandoned. A

formative encounter with culturally-acceptable narratives and political implications of

silence was thought through the history of the Magdalene Laundries.

Initially termed Magdalene Asylums, the Magdalene Laundries were for

any woman who was deemed to have fallen short of the moral standard enforced by

the Catholic order.

Operating from the 18 th to the 20 th centuries in Ireland these institutions

were responsible for the detention of women in a punitive system of gendered degradation

and slave labour. Termed ‘fallen women’, they were swept under the rug of a

corrupt and inhumane system which was acclimated to muffling the voice of anguish,

rendering them servants to silence while conforming to a ‘policy of secrecy’. They

were deemed unworthy of help and forced to labour as penance for their sin. The

emergence of a long-silenced traumatic history of those who survived on the other

side of these detention centres came to light in the 1990s, with closure of the last

of these Catholic regimes in 1996. The news of this sombered an Irish government

celebrating an era of unprecedented economic growth. The McAleese Report of 2013,

which was tasked with investigating these long-running institutions, notably redacted

796 pages of testimony from survivors, further silencing the challenges of the women

and delegitimising their oral histories. The power structures which allowed for the

enslavement of the women within the Laundries don’t seem far removed from the

power structures which have negated these stories from official record. These are

power structures which wish to constrict and constrain. The disturbing effects of

which will always come out one way or another.

It is in the Clock Tower that the 30-minute duration of the performance

takes place. While facing dark prison cells hidden behind large green doors, the performer

sits at a small white table upon which are small black ABC candied letters.

Context

Self-editing, a deliberate and

conscious refusal to reveal and

conceal visibility, can distort

and rupture representation

of the self and the access

we have to ‘the image of the

other’. In some moments, active

disappearance can require

recognition of who and what

controls and surrounds us.

A formative encounter with

society’s acceptable narratives

began with McDonnell’s

research into The Clock Tower,

Grangegorman.

Due to the institutions ‘policy

of secrecy’ for ‘almost a full

century’ women incarcerated

now ‘constitute the nation’s

disappeared’ their lives and

voice rendered invisible to

the conceived notions of a

moral order. Drawing upon

autobiographical notations and

related accounts of historical

events, McDonnell’s work

consciously embodies an act of

refusal.

In her live work, Breaking The

Rule of Silence, black ABC

The small cramped nature of the table highlights restriction and confinement. As

the performer slowly shifts the letters upon the table in an attempt to construct a

sentence her mouth is clattering with the same black letters. From her black oozing

mouth the letters slowly peel out between her lips in an act of refusal. The clatters

intensifies and movement of the mouth seems to become desperate for speech. The

fallen letters stumble as to stain her modest crisp white button up shirt. These are

the haunting fractured words that emit from the body as if rotting from the inside

out. Maintaining a poised posture and complicit stillness her fitted white shirt bears

the stains of that which she cannot contain, her only attempt at illegibility is unintelligible,

through which her developing stains become more apparent. This durational

image created through the seeping mouth and hopeless rearranging of a disjointed

and redacted alphabet is at every pace making visible that which will no longer be

contained.

The rule of silence is not only about the past but the continued oppression

traced to the ever unfolding histories of a bleeding bondaged mouth which will

continue to resist the politicisation of silence. A ‘policy of secrecy’ can only cause

harm. This performance gives rise to the complexities and power structures contained

within the speech act, for if it were not powerful, the mouth would not be

threatened shut.

Breaking the Rule of Silence seeks to reprocess its context as a space of

contemplation, creation and confrontation. The physical intervention of performance

through simple presence can activate and reimagine a history and steer it towards

reflection. The table at which the artist gently caresses the unfinished alphabet all

the while clattering letters against her teeth is reminiscent of the repetition of the

labour performed in laundries. Such temporal processes are evocative of representing

traumatic and domestic cultural histories.

Temporality leads to a critical tension and an acknowledgment of histories

– and the bodies that made and inhabited the past – as well as the relationality of

our own sense of identification, in this body today, with these materialised versions

of human creative action from the past. 2

The work embodies these acts of repetition as an act of refusal, highlighting

the resilience of the voice against the ever present power structures that

attempt to silence the female voice into invisibility against which we must break the

rule of silence.

Sara Muthi



BREAKING THE RULE OF SILENCE

34–35

candy letters are placed on a

small white table, exploring

restriction and confinement.

The performer sits in front

of dark cells hidden behind

large green doors. The table is

placed in a position that puts

a clear distance between the

audience and the performer. In

the performance her movements

are slow and deliberate as

the letters are moved from

left to right in an attempt

to construct a sentence. The

letters are then individually

taken from the performer’s

mouth. The movement of the

mouth becomes fast and intense

in a desperation and struggle

to speak, only to reveal

silence and black fluid which

seeps from the female mouth.

The performance comes to a stop

when the performer has reached

the end of the table, only to

begin again, engaging in a

constant repetitive struggle

and action. The performance

acts as a way of artificial

rendering of the invisible

and the voiceless, revealing

the life of silence and the

struggle of communication

endured by incarcerated women.

Biographies

Justine McDonnell (b. 1992,

Dublin) is an Irish artist

based at Flax Art Studios. She

received a masters in Fine

Art from the University of

Ulster, 2017 and a BA in Fine

Justine McDonnell, Breaking The Rule of Silence, live

performance, 18 September 2016. Photo: Laura Skehan

Justine McDonnell, Breaking The Rule of Silence, live performance,

18 September 2016. Photo: Laura Skehan

Art from TU Dublin, formerly

DIT in 2015. Her practice to

date has been concerned with:

the curated construction of

the self; the commonly held

belief in the authenticity of

autobiography; the decisions we

make in regards to self-editing

and the complicity of the state

in perpetuating acceptable

narratives.

McDonnell has participated

in numerous group and solo

exhibitions including, The LAB

Gallery (2019) Golden Thread

Gallery (2018) and We Speak

Silent, PS 2 , curated by Clare

Gormley (2017). McDonnell

was selected for the Digital

Arts Studios, Home Residency

Award and The MAC Curatorial

Directions Programme, Belfast.

She is a recipient of the Flax

Arts Studios Graduate Residency

Award and the British Council,

Steward Fellowship Award at the

Venice Biennale.

Sara Muthi is a performance

Curator based in Dublin.

Born (1996) in Transylvania,

Romania, Sara Muthi is a

Dublin-based performance

curator currently undertaking

a Masters in Philosophy at

Trinity College Dublin. She

also holds an MA in Art in

the Contemporary World and

a BA in Fine Art from NCAD.

Her research primarily deals

with performance and how its

definition is challenged by

contemporary practices. Sara

also writes on and curates

performance as managing

editor of inaction.ie. She

acts as the communications

assistant for Block Universe;

London’s leading performance

art festival and their

international projects

including POWER NIGHT (2019)

at E-WERK Luckenwalde, Germany.

Her most recent project, POST-

DANCE (2019), a performance/

lecture commissioned for

the Project Arts Centre was

developed during her INCUBATE

residency at Draíocht. She is

due to present her research

paper Performance & Ontology

at the IAAH/Artefact Symposium

2020, UCD, and hosted a panel

discussion at the ‘Politics and

Spaces of Performance since the

1990’ conference, NCAD.

Links

www.mcdonnelljustine.com

saramuthi.com

saradmuthi@gmail.com

muthis@tcd.ie

Justine McDonnell, Breaking The Rule of Silence, live performance,

18 September 2016. Photo: Lori Keeve

1 Phelan, P. (1993). Unmarked; The Politics of Performance. London and New York: Routledge. p.2.

2 Jones, A. (2012). Seeing Differently: A History and Theory of Identification and the Visual Arts.

London and New York: Routledge. p.6.



In the 21st century,

what does it take to build and establish

a technological university in

the city and in the wider world?

Prof. David FitzPatrick

President, Technological

University Dublin

Universities and all higher education institutions play an important part

in the economic, social and cultural life of our country. For Dublin, as a capital city, the

clustering of higher education helps define the character and nature of the city and

surrounding region and over 100,000 students studying in Dublin bring an energy and

dynamic to the city. TU Dublin students are now an important part of that dynamic.

Designation as a technological university (or TU) is a first for Ireland

but is a well-established concept across the world, demonstrating a clear focus on

knowledge creation, research and innovation, coupled with application and performance.

Like TU Delft in the Netherlands, Ryerson University in Canada, TU Munich in

Germany and Aalto University in Finland, TU Dublin has emerged with a strong focus

on higher technical education in engineering, science, and technology, but we are also

rich in architecture, design, multimedia, business, and the creative and performing

arts. The ambition for our university is to integrate our strengths in the more technical

and process-driven subjects with the creative engagement and critical thinking

that are intrinsic to the arts. Technical solutions – whether in engineering or business

or in media – have social and interpersonal impacts, and all students should have

that understanding and develop the ability to disrupt positively and to interrogate

assumptions.

TU Dublin has its origins in Dublin of the 1880s and the emerging development

of higher technical education in line with the needs of 19 th century society.

Those needs continued to evolve, reflecting the changing nature of disciplines and

research and contributing to the prosperity of the country. At the time of the opening

of the Dublin Technical Schools in 1887, Albert Graves stated that ‘Dublin is ripe for

technical education’. 1 Now, building a technological university for Dublin reflects the

needs of 21 st century Ireland.

TU Dublin has emerged at a period of major change within the national

and international higher education landscape, where traditional boundaries between

institutions have been replaced and in many respects have been redefined by the

manner in which a higher education institution leads and innovates; and in how it

interacts with society, responding to changing needs.

However, the fundamental ambition for TU Dublin remains broadly similar

to the original. In its submission to the International Review Panel, TU4Dublin

Alliance stated 2 its intent to ‘translate our passion for learning, education and research

into accessible life-changing opportunities for students on campus, online and in the

communities we serve.’ The links between education, personal and societal gain and

regional development are central to the technological university model.

From the foundation of the State, Ireland developed a distinctly binary

approach to post-secondary education, with traditional universities on one side and

technical education on the other. In 2011, as we faced an existential and economic

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD AND ESTABLISH A TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY

challenge not unlike our current situation, the Higher Education Strategy Group

chaired by Dr. Colin Hunt, was asked to set out a roadmap for the role higher education

should play in better addressing the needs of society. In the preface to the

National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030, 3 Dr. Hunt said:

‘For a variety of reasons, Irish higher education is now at a point of transition:

the number of people entering the system is growing and the profile of students

is changing. Unemployment and changing patterns of work bring new urgency and

a much greater emphasis on lifelong learning and upskilling. A high proportion of

the skills that we need now in the workforce are high-order knowledge-based skills,

many of which can be acquired only in higher education institutions. The importance

of high quality research to the teaching mission and to underpinning socio-economic

development has grown significantly over the past decade and will continue to do so

over the next decade.’

Making a New University

One of the recommendations in the Hunt Report was to bring together

the strengths of regional Institutes of Technology so as to further enhance capacity,

performance and impact. This became the mandate for Technological University

Dublin. Although the first of its kind in Ireland, given the many excellent examples

around the world, a high bar has been set. TU Dublin is a member of the new European

Technological University consortium EUt+, designated by the European Commission.

This provides an excellent opportunity for TU Dublin to be part of the creation of a

new EU-wide model of education, equipping students with the knowledge and skills

to drive Europe’s global impact.

Approach to Education

Building on the foundations of its predecessor institutes, TU Dublin is

guided by an educational philosophy that celebrates the creation of knowledge and

the development of conceptual

understanding, with a

clear emphasis on practice

and the application of that

understanding. Students

are supported in gaining

understanding in their field

of study and the ability and

confidence to apply their

knowledge and skills as they

build sustainable careers.

Their studies lead to professional

accreditation and to

internationally recognised

qualifications.

The university

benefits from having a very

distinctive cohort of learners

that includes apprentices,

undergraduates, postgraduates, part-time students blending work with study, international

students, further education students, those returning to learning after time

at work and those with other responsibilities.

However, the purpose is not solely a practical education, but also the

formation of the whole graduate through the combination of the formal, informal and

hidden curriculum. A student-centred framework focuses on providing a unique, tailored

and personalised learning experience. Intellectual, professional and personal

attributes are encouraged in an integrated way, fostering a sense of connection

between the student and the university. Learning, research and engagement are

Grangegorman Campus, October 2020. Photo: Barrow Coakley

36–37



WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BUILD AND ESTABLISH A TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY 38–39

brought together in an integrated approach rather than as separate activities. This

approach recognises the importance of using the formal and informal learning often

developed through sports, clubs, and student societies which are a key focus for student

engagement and enhance the overall learning experience.

Creating a Better World Together

This education ethos within TU Dublin is reflected in the university’s strategic

plan. Developed during the first year since its establishment, TU Dublin set out

its strategic intent to 2030 – ‘Creating a better world together’. 4 Through the lens of

the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the University looked at its key endeavours

of teaching, research, and engagement with industry and community and has laid

out a detailed roadmap under three key pillars: People, Planet and Partnership. Every

priority, for students and staff, will respond to objectives identified under these pillars.

The process of creating a new university centres on a shared vision

amongst its staff, students, industry and community partners as well as with its alumni

and a wide range of interested parties on a way forward that will add value – not

only to the Irish higher education landscape but also to society. The development of

the strategy resulted in significant interaction and real opportunities to revisit and

in some cases recast our activities. The creation of the new TU Dublin campus at

Grangegorman is a clear example of creating learning and research environments

that will greatly assist student learning and development. The award-winning masterplan

for the campus is a strong reflection of how the university aims to integrate

with the city and its citizens. Students who come to the campus will learn from the

brilliant architects, designers, engineers and craftspeople who brought the plan into

existence. They will also learn from the way the community interacts with the campus

and the university: a sense of local pride and a shared responsibility to protect and

promote not just the campus but also the university.

The process of developing and sustaining a new university such as TU

Dublin is a process of engagement and communication. Our achievements to date

are a great tribute to my colleagues and students of TU Dublin. The potential for the

future is exciting. As the president of the first technological university in Ireland I am

encouraged and motivated by the immense interest and goodwill there is for the creation

of TU Dublin at home and abroad and I am very proud to be its first President.

1 https://arrow.tudublin.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1071&context=ditbk

2 https://www.dit.ie/media/update/0-2015/DIT%20a%20major%20player%20in%20plans%20to%20establish%20

Irelands%20first%20TU.pdf

3 hwww.education.ie/en/publications/policy-reports/national-strategy-for-higher-education-2030.pdf

4 https://tudublin.ie/explore/about-the-university/strategicplan/2030/#:~:text=…%20a%20Better%20World%20

Together,create%20a%20better%20world%20together.



40–41

The

Possibility of

an Archive

Alan

Phelan



THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ARCHIVE 42–43

The possibility for offensive exposure was therefore close, of expressions

too close to the reality behind nearby walls. Maybe this is why the 2005 novel,

The Possibility of an Island’ 3 by Michel Houellebecq served as an appropriate kind of

inspiration for the title of the work. It just happened to be a book I had recently read

and yet its bleak post-human dystopia was not something I directly inferred. The book

does offer an interesting analogy of a future plight for a cloned humanity riddled with

residual memories, unable to break from history or personal memory.

Grangegorman will always have its history and that will be carried

through the historic architecture as well as folk, local and national records. The task

of representing this in an artwork is all but impossible, and could only be a possibility.

The potential is monumental, the history so tragic as to be unrepresentable. The 22

tonnes of records transferred to the National Archives represent this history.

Access to any of these records is however difficult. It is strict and appropriately

respectful. 4 Meetings with representatives from the health authority were

even necessary to explain my intentions. The sequence of words between the historic

register admission headings were a result of this process, which are also synonyms

for control. 5 This rendered the whole piece devoid of people, stories, conditions –

of any recorded information at all. Regulations protect identity, yet eliminated the

possibility of human detail in this work. Only the categories survive the process, the

classification headings that in themselves describe the medical science of the time.

Through each era, cultural and societal prejudice is revealed; secular or religious

power and morality that was given, accepted or in charge.

The Possibility of an Archive was a special commission

for Culture Night 2015, a large outdoor video projection

on the covered stairwell of a utilities building on

the emerging TU Dublin Grangegorman campus. The

piece became visible after dusk on the perforated

metal sheeting enclosing the stairs, with animated

words moving up and down the four storey structure.

The text was culled from historic records, as well as

current education and health professional glossaries. 1

The piece was planned as a monumental projection for this large blank surface which

would eventually be closed off by adjacent new structures. As a services building,

it looked like an anonymous records storage facility, possibly even an archive, as

they are often blank and windowless. The utility of my descriptive artwork seemed

appropriate and yet this location proved uneasy. There is a new mental health facility

2 nearby, which may be walled off from the university campus but some patients

watched from balconies during the set up. The line of slight prevented them from

seeing the work later that evening however, so again remaining problematic because

of exclusion.



THE POSSIBILITY OF AN ARCHIVE 44–45

Concept

The work was conceived in

response to other archive

projects that were being

planned and discussed in

relation to the former mental

health institutions that were

in the Grangegorman site.

Some documents and artefacts

remain on site but most records

are now held in the National

Archives of Ireland. Patient

confidentiality is strictly

observed and adhered to which

meant that individual patient

stories could not be used

in an artwork. The resulting

work used category vocabulary,

which classified patients

instead. Four time periods were

chosen to reflect the changing

language to describe patients.

As only ledger headings were

used and not actual content

there remains a wealth of

information to be accessed at

some future point.

The glut of terminology offered no judgement, hierarchy or authority; no

success or failure of various health systems and institutions. The spectacle of this was

important to present. The contrast of languages was active, obviously because the

words were moving but working against each other, in opposite directions. A basic

visual device to represent the huge changes that time has brought and see different

systems emerge. A more obvious French intellectual to ground the piece would have

been Michel Foucault but I did not want the work to depend on anything but the

missing detail from the records. His controversial and contested book Madness and

Civilisation offers many insights into mental health over centuries, laying the framework

for institutions like those at Grangegorman. And so to end with a quote from him.

‘Confinement hid away unreason, and betrayed the shame it aroused; but it explicitly

drew attention to madness, pointed to it. If, in the case of unreason, the chief intention

was to avoid scandal, in the case of madness that intention was to organise it.’ 6

Photo: Lori Keeve

DCU, Dublin and RIT, New York.

Solo exhibitions include CCI,

Void, RHA, The Dock, The Hugh

Lane, Oonagh Young Gallery,

Golden Thread Gallery, IMMA,

Chapter, LCGA, MCAC, Solstice

and The Black Mariah. Group

exhibitions include TBG+S,

Lewis Glucksman Gallery,

CCA, Derry/Londonderry, EVA

International, Treignac Projet,

Bozar Brussels, and exhibitions

in New York, Shanghai,

Ljubljana, Belgrade, Copenhagen

as well as Kunstmuseum Bonn and

The Whitney Museum New York.

Public commissions include The

Walker Plinth, Derry, Dublin

City Council, St. Michael's

House Special National School,

Raheny, South Council and the

Department of Communications

(DCMNR). He has received

numerous grants and awards

including The Arts Council,

Culture Ireland, Creative

Ireland and the Hotron Éigse

Art Prize. He has completed

several residencies including

NCAD, HIAP, CCI, URRA and FSAS.

Links

www.alanphelan.com/portfolio/

the-possibility-of-anarchive-2015

If, in the case of unreason, the chief intention

was to avoid scandal, in the case of madness that

intention was to organise it.

Commissioned for Culture

Night by ‘…the lives we live’

Grangegorman Public Art.

18 September 2015, from dusk

to 21:30

Outdoor video projection,

7 minutes duration, looped

I would like to thank the

following for their assistance

in making this project:

Jonathan Sammon — After Effects

designer

John Beattie — technical

support, FSAS

Fran Quigley — audiovisual

specialist, CAVS

Brian Donnelly — archivist,

National Archives of Ireland

Nora Rahill, HSE Art Committee

and Noel Kelly

Alan Phelan — documentation and

photographs unless otherwise

stated

Biography

Alan Phelan works in

photography, sculpture, video,

museum interventions, public

art and collaborations with

other artists, writers and

curators. Phelan studied at

1 On the left side moving up were keywords or terms from education, learning, and teaching; on the right side

keywords associated with mental health, including clinical, diagnostic and treatment phraseology. Both accessed

the massive contemporary professional vocabularies, found through online resources. This filled the sides with a

random stream of words and terminology. These were contrasted by the centre texts, which moved downwards in

small sections. These were headings from registers for patient admissions from 1814–1827; 1863–1868; 1947–1950;

and 1971–1972. Only four ledger books were used from the many held in the National Archives, with the title and

date remaining visible for the sequence while the various different and changing categories unfolded. In between

each sequence was a list of words which expressed the restricted access to detailed personal information.

2 The Phoenix Care Centre is located on the North Circular Road and shares an entrance with the TU Dublin

campus. This is in effect the legacy mental health facility at the original location, open however only since

2013, with 54 beds in comparison to what was there before. As the HSE describes it, there are beds of varying

intervention requirements for service users of the Dublin North City Mental Health Services.

3 Houellebecq, M. (2005). The Possibility of an Island. Translated by G. Bowd. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

4 See the ‘Report on Historical Mental Health Records Seminar’, held at Royal Irish Academy, 16 May 2019,

specifically the paper by Brian Donnelly outlining access parameters. The seminar marked the beginning of

a partnership between the Royal Irish Academy, the Grangegorman Development Agency, the Health Service

Executive, Technological University Dublin, Dublin City Council and the National Archives, Ireland to develop a

3-year project on the history of Grangegorman. Report available on ria.ie

5 For a broader overview of hospital archives see, Survey of Hospital Archives in Ireland, funded by the Wellcome

Trust, undertaken by the National Archives, available at www.nationalarchives.ie/what-we-do/publications/

6 See: Foucault, M. (1965). Madness And Civilization: A History Of Insanity In The Age Of Reason. New York:

Random House. p.81.



46–47

THE GOLDEN

BANDSTAND –

Sculpture

Garrett

Phelan





THE GOLDEN BANDSTAND – SCULPTURE 50–51

Production in collaboration

with Kevin Murphy, Shadow

Creations.

Commission Support Team:

Garrett Phelan, Artist; Kevin

Murphy, Shadow Creations; Paul

McDunphy, TU Dublin; Maire

Mellerick, Dominick Healy and

Jenny Haughton GDA.

Biography

Garrett Phelan is a Dublin

based artist that continues to

develop a distinctive practice

through ambitious gallery

and site-specific permanent

and temporary projects that

include; Independent FM

radio broadcasts, sculptural

installations, photography,

drawing, animation, film,

publications, posters and

text ephemera. Relevant solo

exhibitions and commissions

include; ‘FREE THOUGHT’ FM,

Douglas Hyde Gallery. Dublin,

(2019); ‘I HAVE NO RIGHT TO

BE SO NEAR’, National Gallery

of Ireland (2018); THE HIDE

PROJECT, commission, Fingal

County Council, Dublin (2017

– ongoing); HEED FM, ART:2016,

Arts Council, Dublin (2016);

‘A VOODOO FREE PHENOMENON’,

Project Arts Centre, Dublin

(2015). ‘NEW FAITH LOVE SONG’,

IMMA, Dublin (2012).

Link

www.garrettphelan.com



52–53

Solaris

Nexum

A rendering of Solaris Nexum as seen from the second floor.

Render: Colin Rennie

Alexandra

Carr



SOLARIS NEXUM

54–55

Concept

Solaris Nexum explores our

changing connection to the sun

through technological shifts

of various ages. Through

a double-sided surface of

suspended mirrors, Solaris

Nexum is a helical structure

projected onto catenary arches,

allowing continually changing

reflections in response to the

shifting light.

Carr approaches celestial

architecture, advances in

optics, and renewable energy as

paradigm shifting technologies,

drawing together periods of

human history with a potential

future for humankind.

Firstly, the instinctive,

neolithic era, when humankind

was rooted to the environment

and in greater connection to

the ebb and flow of natural

cycles. The panel shape of the

mirrors utilises static and

dynamic triangles from sacred

geometry to acknowledge the

platonic elements, while giving

a sense of movement, evolution

and perpetual change of natural

systems. The sunlight at the

autumnal equinox is directed

through a column of glass

beads, echoing the function

of neolithic sites such as

Newgrange. The solar column

is placed at the centre of the

overall form of the sculpture;

the outer shell of the form

echoes the celestial firmament

and our then skyward-looking

nature.

Secondly the analytical,

mechanistic and deterministic

view of the renaissance brought

about by the shift from a

geocentric perspective of the

universe to a heliocentric

viewpoint, bringing with

it significant religious

Heat in the void. Vulcan’s golden seat of chaos wrestles

itself. Isolated, this seemingly unending maelstrom of

fury hangs in the darkness, illuminating its primordial

cousins. The burning orb’s glare reveals everything in

its wake, dashing dreams of secrecy.

The blades of destruction that reach out over aeons, glint with creation.

Sparks of potential float in the ether, effortlessly nudging insignificant

flecks and mineral cathedrals into the vast continuum. Charged seeds collide with

immoveable quanta, their union the launch of infinite possibilities. A volatile age of

renewal writes its code many times over, correcting and overcorrecting the traces of

dawns past, arriving where fragile breath begins.

We form structured clusters of tenderness while invisible threads gently

bind us into a secure embrace. We feel the power of our origins. We look to the earth,

the water, the curve of the horizon. We observe. What is beyond nautical twilight? We

touch the dirt and taste the sea, but cannot grasp the celestial sphere. We can’t tame

the elusive timekeeper, so we frame it.

We build houses to obey its rhythmic whims. Poised with childlike anticipation,

we praise the instant the ray-maker gilds our monolith of permanence. We

rotate around our axis mundi, faithfully existing in cyclic ritual.

Revolutions pass, stone crumbles, stories are mistold, directions diverge

and we are adrift in the forest. The stars, once our guidelight home, are veiled by the

canopy. Lost, we pause a while, we ponder. Our curiosity holds us captive in the maze

we’ve stumbled into.

Close up sketch of how the two -way mirrored triangular paneled

surfaces interact with each other. Render: Colin Rennie

The pause becomes permanent.

In this opaque bubble, we polish, we tinker, we create, we invent. We

make a marvel of our cage and, through colour-splitting trinkets, we build a fortress

of truths. We have conquered the outer sphere and become Gods of our own making.

Masters of our domain, we delve into worlds unknown, through a happenstance

lens; infinite turtles for the taking. Euphoric in our splendour, we chart virgin

territories in the name of reason. We label, sample and cage. We dig. Dig for explosive

jewels. Hypnotic, magnetic, deathly jewels, oozing from below, setting us free.

We no longer touch the earth, we soar like birds. We spread, speed up and multiply.

repercussions. Two-way mirrors

have been utilised to reference

Newtonian optics that allowed

mankind to delve into the

microcosm, with the inner

mirror surface of the sculpture

representing our inward-looking

phase of understanding. The

structure has been divided

based on a five-fold repetition

of the DNA double helix to

highlight our perceived shift

of place in the cosmos, the

spiral intersections suggestive

of natural forms. Reminiscent

of apparatus for astronomical

observations, the layered

mirrors reference moiré

patterns, parallax and illusion

to remind us to question what

we believe to be true.

Thirdly, a representation of

our current state of being

and an acknowledgement of

our advances in technology

and material science. We are

equipped with the knowledge of

our impact on the environment

and have the means to exist

responsibly, respectfully and

intelligently.

This third age is reflected

in the structure of the

sculpture which is informed

by sun towers; the angling

of the mirrored panels

pay homage to solar panel

orientation, the tracking of

the sun and celestial bodies,

further highlighting our

solar connection. The use of

double-sided mirrored surfaces

references the inward and

outward nature of societal

views, a movement in focus

between the macrocosm and the

microcosm, and brings weight

to the value of the truth

contained within a multitude

of perspectives. Similarly,

through the use of two-way

mirrors, the environment, the

building and the viewer are

reflected in the sculpture,

while being reflected in

itself. As our vision is

challenged through the changing

light, Solaris Nexum provokes

a perspective shift from a

control of the environment to

being responsive to it. It is

an invitation to move towards a

symbiotic and holistic approach

of our environment, with a

view to achieve a technological

utopia in balance with nature.

The sculpture serves as a

monument to solar connection

through the ages of technology,

encourages us to retain a

respect for nature and to

Side view of the sculpture demonstrating the triangular panels orientated

towards the sun, reminiscent of solar towers. Render: Colin Rennie

We jostle for a roosting spot in the thick, black air, clambering over each other to keep

our hearts beating. We falter. Gold flakes fall from our robes and turn to ash on the

rotten wasteland.

Where did our home go? We are the rulers of this land. Did we do this?

Mute with shame, we are paralysed.

The daylight is shrouded by the acrid smoke. We are choking. Some survive

the Minotaur as we crawl from the charred remains of the forest. Refugees of our

own undoing, we build simple dwellings, looking back at our lost friends, speaking in

tongues in their seductive prison, barely recognisable and oblivious to the madness

they have succumbed to. Shapeshifters who have passed their own sentence, refusing

to flee their city, burning ferociously, inching outwards towards us; the ghost custodians

too idle to quench the fire.

An enemy of time, we build vessels of hope to follow a whisper on the

wind of a land so still you can hear the hum of the world – a realm of glistening beacons

swaying silently in gentle adoration. Soon the days will shine brighter until the

sky is ablaze. We will be gone when the inferno consumes our marble, two primitives

merging into delicious chaos before the tale is sucked into oblivion.

We have a slither left.



SOLARIS NEXUM

56–57

intelligently live in harmony

with its resources, moving

towards a technologically

symbiotic age. Carr invites

us to look both inwards and

outwards to embrace all spheres

of being into one harmonious

whole.

Artist support: Colin

Rennie, Renée Pfister Art

& Gallery Consultancy and

CConsult Engineering.

Every fragment of star stuff within us, aches

to feel the pulse of the timeless and yearns for the

wisdom of the cosmos. We are humble in our voyage

forwards while safe in a blanket of contended, respectful

unknowing.

Commission Support team:

Alexandra Carr, Artist; Paul

Horan and Darragh Power, TU

Dublin; Jenny Haughton GDA,

Simon Carter of Feilden Clegg

Bradley Studios.

This work will be installed in

the TU Dublin Central Quad by

summer 2021.

Biography

Alexandra Carr’s work responds

to natural processes and

phenomena, is experimental in

nature and includes drawing,

kinetic works, video and new

media. Working in partnership

with MIT, Oxford and Durham

Universities, she collaborates

with world-leading researchers

including engineers and

theoretical physicists,

focusing on the intersection of

art, science and technology.

Studying at Central Saint

Martins and Camberwell College

of Art, she subsequently

exhibited at the Fondation

Cartier in Paris, in

collaboration with Jean-Paul

Gaultier, was commissioned by

seminal musicians Radiohead,

was shortlisted for the Arts@

CERN COLLIDE International

Award 2016 and longlisted for

the Aesthetica Art Prize 2017,

2019 and 2020.

She exhibits internationally

including the Verket Museum,

Sweden and project spaces in

Iceland.

Carr had a Leverhulme funded

residency at Durham University,

investigating medieval

and modern cosmology in

collaboration with historians

and cosmologists.

She is a fellow at The

Institute of Advanced

Studies working on ‘Material

Imagination’ to produce

biological smart materials.

Link

www.alexandracarr.co.uk

www.instagram.com/

studioalexandracarr

The large and small rings of the metal hanging system are loaded

with the bespoke brackets and levelled ahead of welding at

Architectural Metalworkers Ltd. Photo: Alexandra Carr

The polycarbonate parts, once cut by a computer numerical control (CNC) machine, are placed back

into the offcut ‘skeleton’ to be transported from workshop to studio. Photo: Alexandra Carr



58–59

Endless Play

Walker & Walker, Endless Play, 2020 (ongoing), aluminium,

stainless steel, Hawthorn tree, theatrical lighting

Walker

and Walker



ENDLESS PLAY 60–61

Édouard Manet, Music in the Tuileries Gardens, (1862),

© The National Gallery, London. The Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917

A central tenet in our practice is the consideration of binary structures

such as night/day, one/zero, negative/postive, etc, as creating a limiting dialectic.

These form an undesirable resolution by the suggestion that one or the other should

finally achieve some privileged status. We are interested in opening up a more nuanced

interrelationship between what is seemingly oppositional.

In the installation Endless Play we are creating an environment which

creates a paradigm shift between an agent and/or a passive recipient, between the

audience and/or the performers. Endless Play consists of a fabricated structure of

horizontal forms making a banked seating, cut through with an opening for a tree to

grow through, and lit by a sequence of theatre spotlights.

The installation is influenced by Edouard Manet’s painting Music in

the Tuileries (1862) that is housed in the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and has long

intrigued us, not least because it plays with similar concerns to Diego Velázquez’s

painting Las Meninas. Credited with introducing a greater psychological complexity

to art, in Velázquez’s painting the viewer stands in the place of the King and Queen

whose portraits Velazquez is painting,

whereby the relationship between the

observer and the observed is brought

into question.

Manet’s painting occupies

a similarly relational space. The

painting depicts a contemporary

urban gathering, an audience for the

suggested unseen and unheard symphony

of the title. The viewers are

situated seemingly where the musicians

in the orchestra should be. The

transient, the fleeting and the contingent,

were elements that Manet

delighted in. Where else is the music

of the title coming from, if not from us,

the viewers? In many respects classical

in its composition, in the background a horizontal axis is signalled by the last line

of the figures’ heads and the vertical axis by the trees, – the only means of light is a

small triangle of light which illuminates the scene. The uniqueness of the paintings’

limited depth of field and the dominance of the vertical and horizontal axes adhere to

the structure of the sculptural installation.

Minimalist in form, the

installation is punctuated by a single

tree creating a vertical dynamic and

a rupture. Lit from above by a series

of spotlights, the isolated tree bears

reference to Samuel Beckett‘s play

Waiting for Godot, which was inspired

by a painting Two Men Contemplating

Caspar David Friedrich, Two Men Contemplating

the Moon (c. 1825–30), Metropolitan Museum

of Art . 34.9 x 43.8 cm

the Moon by Caspar David Friedrich, a

citation Beckett rarely gave.

In addition, a number of

text based neon artworks will reside

within the interior spaces of the buildings

which open out onto the Quad.

These neon texts are written in reverse and thereby are read correctly when viewed

as reflections on the windows, each text appearing to hover outside in the open space

beyond the window, along with the viewers own reflection.

The horizontal aspect of the installation, the banked seating and the

floating texts, echoes the manner in which Caspar David Friedrich created paintings.

Friedrich unlike his predecessors who used a valley or a river as the line of sight, used

pictorial devices such as flanking and overlapping rocks, mountains, or trees to lead

you back to an abrupt horizon. The text punctuates the sight line of the viewer, creating

discontinuous moments of passage to the site of contemplation, the social scene.

Introducing a fragmented and temporal paradigm into the act of viewing and creating

a tension with the larger sited sculpture, the neons augment the dominant concepts

at play; the sense of an event, the shifting, coalescing dynamics between those sitting

on the work looking out or those viewing it looking on.

A final part of Endless Play will consist of a short scripted scenario

between two protagonists. Introducing a fictional play, an imagined happening set

within the dynamics of the installation, this script will be framed and hung in its vicinity

for viewers to read and contemplate, creating a sense of expectation or suspense for

an imagined past or future occurrence.

Walter Benjamin in his Arcades project speaks of how Charles Baudelaire

viewed loitering as a means to facilitate exchange. At its heart, Endless Play is

a vehicle for students to gather both as performers and audience, roles that become

interchangeable with passers by. The West Quad is a convivial space within which

Endless Play makes performative the everyday act of social exchange, and the relationship

between protagonist and/or audience. It is both an active celebration of social

gathering and a monument to it.

In between Correggio’s Mystical Marriage and Titian’s Allegory

of Alfonso d’Avalos (missing Mona Lisa), August 22, 1911



all is present in the absence of

ENDLESS PLAY 62–63

Artist support: CConsult

Engineering, Robert Mueller,

Bartenbach, 33 Trees Ltd,

David Walker and Grace Weir.

Commission Support Team: Joe

and Pat Walker, Artists; Paul

Horan, Collette Burns, Teresa

Hurley and Paul Mc Dunphy, TU

Dublin; Jenny Haughton and Pat

O'Sullivan, GDA; Shih-Fu Peng,

Glenn O'Brien, Simona Yonkova,

Heneghan Peng Architects.

Biography

Joe Walker and Pat Walker

are brothers who began

collaborating as Walker and

Walker in 1989. They corepresented

Ireland at the 51 st

International Venice Biennale

in 2005 with their film

installation Nightfall and have

exhibited widely nationally

and internationally. Their

film Mount Analogue Revisited

was listed in Senses of Cinema

as one of the best films

of 2010 and has been shown

internationally.

Recent exhibitions include

at The Irish Museum of

Modern Art, Dublin; Magazin4,

Bregenz, Austria; Artspace

Boan1942 and Thomas Park

Gallery, Seoul, South Korea;

Salzburger Kunstverein,

Salzburg, Austria; Museum of

Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro;

Galleria Civica di Modena,

Italy; Dublin City Gallery,

The Hugh Lane; Sheppard Fine

Arts Gallery, Reno, USA;

The RHA Gallery, Dublin;

Gracelands, Ireland; Gimpel

fils, London UK; Glassbox,

Paris France; Floating Ip,

Manchester UK; Christopher

Grimes Gallery, LA; Cheekwood

Museum of Art, Nashville; and

Spencer Brownstone Gallery,

New York USA.

Walker & Walker, All is present in the absence of all, 2020, offset print

Endless Play is intended to

be situated in the TU Dublin

West Quad when the building

is constructed.

Link

www.walkerandwalkerartists.com



64–65

The blue of the

sky, the green

of the grass, the

red of a rose

Fergus Martin, Sky, 2016, acrylic on aluminium, 249 × 118 × 4cm, installation view, Green On Red Gallery, Dublin

Fergus

Martin



THE BLUE OF THE SKY, THE GREEN OF THE GRASS, THE RED OF A ROSE 66–67

Study for paintings for the RCN Chalk pastel on paper

The new HSE Residential Care Neighbourhood (RCN)

for Grangegorman in Dublin 7 will be made up of five different

‘households.’ All of these, except for the day care

centre, will be peoples’ homes. Some of these households

will be home to elderly people with dementia,

others to elderly people from the nearby community.

I am making five different paintings, one for each household

of the RCN, to be seen and enjoyed by the people

who live and work there, as well as those who visit. The

paintings could also be rotated and give each household

a new work at different times.

My starting point was Sky, a painting from 2016.

It points to the sky and lifts the heart.

I want the work to make people feel happy, even on the greyest days.

I would like it to feel fresh, as if always seen for the first time.

For some people with memory loss, everytime they see the paintings

could be like the first time and I would like those times to be like a welcome, with

arms wide open.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art Azure Dementia-Inclusive Programme

made several visits to my 2019 exhibition at IMMA with people with dementia and

their carers and the responses to Sky were always happy ones. The colour of Sky gave

much pleasure and led many people to want to discuss the painting.

I would like the paintings to be like beams of light, to calm and also to

stimulate. I want them to make people feel good.

Maquettes for six paintings for the Residential Care Neighbourhood; acrylic on foamboard

Biography

Fergus Martin’s work encompasses

painting, sculpture and

photography and is included in

public collections including

the National Gallery of Ireland;

IMMA; Hugh Lane Gallery;

Crawford Art Gallery, Cork;

the Office of Public Works; as

well as private collections

in Ireland and abroad. Awards

include the Irish America

Culture Association Award

2014, the Curtin O’Donoghue

Photography Prize RHA 2010, the

Pollock Krasner Foundation New

York Awards 2006 and 1999.

In 2019 he had a solo exhibition

Fergus Martin Then and Now

at the Irish Museum of Modern

Art, and in 2020, his sculpture

Barrel was installed in the

grounds of the Royal Hospital

Kilmainham/Irish Museum of

Modern art. Also in 2020, his

sculpture, Oak, was installed

at the International Criminal

Court, The Hague, commissioned

by the Department of Foreign

Affairs, a gift from the

Government of Ireland to

the Court.

I am aiming for colours that are healing –

the blue of the sky, the green of fresh grass. The

paintings would also be strong markers of a place

– blue is the dining room. They would announce the

place they’re in.

I would also encourage the RCN to have ongoing facilitated sessions with

an art educator for residents and staff to participate in – to bring an Azure-type experience

to the people who live there and their carers and families for shared discussions

in the hope it would add to the enjoyment of the work for all.



THE BLUE OF THE SKY, THE GREEN OF THE GRASS, THE RED OF A ROSE 68–69

Colour studies notebooks for paintings for the RCN, 2020

Born in Cork, Martin studied

painting at Dun Laoghaire School

of Art from 1972–1976. From

1979–1988 he lived and worked

in Italy, where he lectured

in English Language at The

University of Milan. In 1988,

he returned to painting and had

his first solo exhibition at

Oliver Dowling Gallery, Dublin,

in 1990. In 1991, he attended

The New York Studio School of

Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.

Martin was also part of the

collaborative duo Fergus

Martin and Anthony Hobbs, whose

photographic projects were shown

in Venice; Dublin; Brussels;

St Johns, Newfoundland and

Melle, France. Their work is

in the collections of The Arts

Council of Ireland and The Irish

Museum of Modern Art, and the

collection of Ville de Melle,

France.

Martin is a member of Aosdana.

He is represented by Green On

Red gallery.

Artist support: One Off Design.

New Colour studies notebooks for paintings for the RCN, 2020

Commission Support Team: Fergus

Martin, Artist; Derek Dockrell

and Kevin Sheridan, HSE; Jenny

Haughton and Des Marmion, GDA;

Valerie Mulvin, McCullough

Mulvin Architects.

Link

www.fergusmartin.com



70–71

Phoenix Care

Centre Art

Joy Gerrard, Dusk/Dawn, 2014, handblown Jerpoint glass, 600 × 400 × 300 cm

Oisín Byrne

Joy Gerrard

Curated by Aisling Prior

Oisín Byrne, Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet, 2014, silk and screen print



PHOENIX CARE CENTRE ART 72–73

Joy Gerrard

Dusk/Dawn

The primary aim of the Phoenix Care Centre, a new mental health facility

replacing St. Brendan’s Hospital on the Grangegorman site in Dublin 7, was to be a

place of safety and recovery for its service users. Any artworks commissioned for the

centre would need to evoke feelings of ‘calm and of peacefulness’, while also symbolising

‘hope and possibility’. The chosen artworks should be ‘exquisitely sensitive’

to their context. 1 The concepts, materials and methods that constitute art practices

tend to evolve organically, typically driven by a responsiveness to changes within the

making process. Controlling the outcomes of this process, inevitably uncertain, and

determining that these outcomes conform to a set of unambiguous, a priori conditions,

requires dexterity on the artist’s part. For a commission such as this one, the artist

must combine a willingness to have their work experienced and interpreted within a

strict set of conditions, whilst remaining faithful to the values of their wider practice.

Aisling Prior stresses the importance of this latter aspect. It’s imperative commissions

are made within the canon of the artist’s gallery and museum work because, in the

end, ‘It’s the artist being selected, not the proposal’. 2

Vastly experienced in the curation of such delicate balancing acts, Aisling

Prior has trod a uniquely sensitive path between the needs of public and other institutions,

and the requirement of art practices to evolve according to their own, inner

logic. Prior is clear about her general approach, avoiding seeking original ideas from

artists, their unique commodity, at the outset of a process, preferring instead to outline

the opportunity as clearly as possible, before inviting them to consider whether

it might dovetail with their ongoing concerns. Her confidence in an artist’s ability to

understand and respond creatively and sensitively to the commission context and

circumstances, can sometimes temporarily separate her from the commissioning

body, who are taken on a journey of trust during the curation process. In winning over

the selection panel for the Phoenix Care Centre commissions, Prior told me how the

language used by the artists in their proposals at the shortlist stage played its part.

Joy Gerrard’s description of her suspended glass spheres – animated by the daily

passage of natural light through the atrium of the building – were to be primarily

experienced and enjoyed by the service users of the centre, as Prior said ‘a circadian

gift of reassurance and of consolation’. Or how the serpentine lines of Oisín Byrne’s

silk wall-hanging would be enlivened by their proximity to an open window, ‘Wafting

gently in the incoming breeze’. 3

It feels distinctly reassuring that such ephemeral acts can bear on the

imaginations of those charged with the concrete act of spending money. You can’t

really buy the passage of light, after all, or pay for a gentle breeze, but you can certainly

pay for objects that bring these qualities into play. Only one commission was

originally envisioned, but as the selection panel couldn’t decide between two of the

five shortlisted proposals, Prior suggested they commission both. With some adjustments

and modifications made to the proposals by the artists and to the budget by

the client, the solution to commission both artists was agreed; the resulting works

combining so well together that it might have been the plan all along.

Together, the collection of suspended glass spheres, measuring from

between 15 cm to 5 cm, that make up Joy Gerrard’s Dusk/Dawn look like a cloud of

bright bubbles. They certainly appear ephemeral; light and airy, like the bubbles a

child might have blown from a canister filled with water and washing up liquid. The

spheres vary in diameter between 6 and 12 cm. Some are delicately coloured, while

others remain clear. Though carefully assembled into what the artist calls ‘a hanging

cloud of glass’, they also have the sense of an informal gathering, as though hanging

out together for the sheer hell of it, as much as for any designated purpose. 4 When

the light hits them in a certain way, the bubbles appear about to burst, as though

suspended on the threshold of their material viability. Ostensibly simple (if delightful),

this collection of glass spheres also resonates with other areas of the artist’s

work. Gerrard has long been preoccupied with gatherings of various kinds, especially

large groups of people framed by urban landscapes; crowds congregated in protest

against prevailing systems and prejudices. Dusk/Dawn was actually made before this

tendency in the artist’s work gained the prominence it has now, and it’s interesting to

consider how this gentle gathering of objects prefigures the more robust gatherings

– as seen, for example, in her RHA exhibition ‘Shot Crowd’ (2017) – appearing later on.

Gerrard’s current work might be considered overtly political in its general

themes, yet here she manages to fold her developing concerns into a more gentle,

nonconfrontational outcome. Mindful of the requirement for calm and hope, Gerrard’s

original proposal mentions that in similar settings she herself had often ‘wished for

something beautiful to look at’. In the same proposal she describes her theme of the

returning day – the Dusk/Dawn of her title – and how the phenomena of sunrise and

sunset, however banal they might seem in constructions of conventional sentimentality,

are also beacons of hope. ‘We subconsciously know, that no matter what else

happens, or is going on in our lives, that this is the most universal symbol of time

moving, and life passing and being lived.’ 5

Despite relatively prescriptive circumstances, the work remains open to

interpretation. Gerrard’s delicate spheres might be oxygen bubbles rising from a deep

well, filtering a sub-aqueous light, captured and solidified before bursting upon the

surface air. Suspended in the double height atrium space, they rest at the level of the

upper floor, visible through the glazed partitions surrounding them. The occupants

of this floor can encounter the spheres head on, as though the spectacle were lifted

up to meet them. From the ground floor reception level, the massed objects appear

more cloud-like, floating above the unsuspecting visitors below. The transparent orbs

might also be thought bubbles, hanging above the heads of this ever changing cast

– receptacles for their thoughts and private reveries.

Dusk/Dawn detail, 450 transparent and coloured glass spheres

of various sizes, suspended from steel wires, the overall

measuring approximately 6 4 3 metres



Oisín Byrne

Long live the weeds and

the wilderness yet 6

Commissioned for Phoenix Care

Centre, North Circular Rd,

Dublin 7. Client; HSE and

Grangegorman Development Agency.

Biographies

Joy Gerrard lives and works in

Belfast. She graduated with a BA

from NCAD, Dublin and an MA and

MPhil from the Royal College of

Art, London. Gerrard is known

for work that investigates

different systems of relations

between crowds, architecture

and the built environment.

Recent solo exhibitions include

‘supermarket’ in Stockholm with

Ormston House (2019) and ‘Shot

Crowd’at the Royal Hibernian

Academy, Dublin (2017). Selected

group exhibitons include:

‘Protest and Remembrance’,

Cristea Roberts Gallery,

London (2019); and ‘Crossing

Lines’, Highlanes Gallery,

Drogheda, and F.E. McWilliam

Gallery, Banbridge (2019).

She has installed multiple

public installations since 2004

including major works in the

London School of Economics,

Chelsea and Westminster

Hospital, for Tideway (London)

and Facebook (London and Dublin)

Gerrard has just completed

a residency at the Centre

Culturel Irlandais in Paris in

2020 and is an Associate Member

of the RHA, Dublin.

Aisling Prior, an independent

curator, has curated several

international and national

exhibitions such as ‘See

Through Art’ at the Hugh Lane,

‘Ireland and Europe’ at the

Iveagh Gardens, ‘Art in The

Life World’ in the Old Swimming

Pool, Ballymun, ‘Something

Else’ Kilkenny Arts Festival,

2009 and TULCA 2014, Galway.

She curated the annual group

show, ‘Hermione’ at Alexandra

College, was a curator for

‘Periodical Review’ at Pallas

Projects in 2018 and of ‘Agnès

and I’ for the Black Church

Print Studios in 2019. She was

Public Art Advisor to the Arts

Council of Ireland and Editor

of www.publicart.ie from 2012

to 2015. As Artistic Director

A sense of reverie is more immediately apparent in Oisín Byrne’s pure

silk wall-hanging, made for the same foyer space. In an image screen printed, and in

places sewn into the light-weight fabric, a figure of uncertain gender is outlined in

fluid strokes. Garlanded with vines, and with closed eyes suggesting sleep, the heavy

head is bowed under a gentle cascade of leaves. Draped from on high on a simple,

wooden horizontal rail, the fabric hangs free from other constraints, creasing a little

across its breadth, pleasingly feeling its own weight. Bordered on three sides by broad,

green bands, the image remains open at the top, suggesting its continuation upwards

into the surrounding space, and by implication, to somewhere beyond it. This soothing

banner has a clear affiliation with other works by Byrne. In a practice ranging across

a variety of media and approaches, depictions of the human figure assume a central

place. Byrne seems preoccupied by figures at rest, or sleeping. His banners and wall

hangings in the group show, ‘In The Line of Beauty’, IMMA (2014) depicted single

figures lying in bed with the bedclothes pulled up to their chins. Seeming to occupy

a liminal state between sleeping and wakefulness, the figures conveyed a sense of

inexorable drift, as though avoiding the defining poles of one state, or another.

Oisín Byrne, Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet (detail),

2014, wall-hanging / screen printed and embroidered silk

Byrne’s more recent film work, Glue (2017) is a 50-minute portrayal of his

friend, and fellow artist, Gary Farrelly. Farrelly – as depicted in the film – is an agitated

figure, alternating between bouts of mania and narcolepsy in a colourfully striped

shirt. Byrne is interested in indeterminate states, and how energy flows between them.

Banners and wall hangings are often associated with displays of certitude,

useful for identifying a specific message or tribe. Byrne’s redeployment of

them here (and in his practice more generally), in the service of a seeming lassitude

(his garlanded figure might be Bacchus sleeping it off) is reminiscent of an opiated

poeticism typified by the French artist, Jean Cocteau. Affectionately nicknamed ‘The

Frivolous Prince’, Cocteau – dramatist, novelist, visual artist, filmmaker and poet – in

reality was anything but. In his 1929 novel, ‘Les Enfants Terribles’ his sibling protagonists

torment each other in a deadly game of one-upmanship. I’ve no idea if this story

served as a model for the mutual affections and antagonisms on display in Glue, but

of the internationally acclaimed

Breaking Ground, the Ballymun

Regeneration Ltd art commission

programme (2000—2008), she

produced over 40 artists’

projects with emerging and

established artists. She was

the director of Visual Artists’

Ireland (VAI) from 1991—1998.

She holds a BA in Philosophy

(UCD) and a 1 st class Hons MA in

Curatorial Studies (IADT). She

was co-curator of Fingal County

Council’s 2017—2020 public art

programme ‘Infrastructure’. She

is a member of the Programme

Board of the RHA.

Oisín Byrne (b.1983) is an

Irish visual artist, writer and

film-maker based in London.

He received his BA from NCAD

Dublin, and his MFA from

Goldsmiths University London.

Byrne’s work has been exhibited

internationally in institutions

including Salzburger

Kunstverein, Goldsmiths Centre

for Contemporary Art, Witte de

With Centre for Contemporary

Art, the Irish Museum of Modern

Art, and Princeton University.

His work is substantially

represented in the Irish State

Collection. His writing has

been published in Eros Press

and Pilot Press, with upcoming

writing in MA Bibliotheque’s

anthology work ‘ON CARE’ and

in The Happy Hypocrite’s final

edition ‘Without Reduction’.

Byrne also works as a creative

consultant to filmmaker Sophie

Fiennes, with ‘Grace Jones:

Bloodlight and Bami’ premiering

at Toronto Film Festival. He

is an associate lecturer at

Central Saint Martins and London

College of Communications.

John Graham has a BA

(Printmaking 1993) and MFA

(Media 2006) from the NCAD.

With a foundation in drawing

and printmaking, his art

practice has also included

video installations, writing

and curatorial projects. He has

exhibited widely in Ireland

and abroad, most prominently

with the Green On Red Gallery

in Dublin and the Yanagisawa

Gallery in Japan. His articles

and exhibition reviews have

been published by the Visual

Artists’ News Sheet, Paper

Visual Art Journal and Enclave

Review, among others. John lives

in Dublin and is a member of

the Black Church Print Studio.

He lectures in fine art at the

Yeats Academy of Arts, Design &

Architecture, IT Sligo.

www.johngraham.ie

PHOENIX CARE CENTRE ART 74–75

the cover of my paperback copy of the novel, from a painting by Cocteau, is certainly

reminiscent of Byrne’s silken image. Interested in identities that are ambiguous, contested

or otherwise unfixed, Byrne’s work feels distinctly contemporary, while at the

same time harking back to a previous era with its own transitions and tribulations.

Paris in the 1920’s and 30’s was certainly protean, and Jean Cocteau was joined in his

explorations of complex identities by a cast of famous peers that included the Paris

based, American photographer Man Ray, conceptualist Marcel Duchamp and early

gender bender, Claude Cahun.

Of course none of this need be apparent for Byrne’s drapery to be

enjoyed. Like Gerrard’s bright bubbles, its effectiveness is not tethered to a clever

idea so much as to that ‘exquisite sensitivity’ mentioned in the original commissioning

brief. Aisling Prior told me how simply beautiful she found all of the work (Gerrard’s

project included six framed works on paper), and how everyone involved, in an often

unashamedly and perhaps even intentionally emotional process, were delighted with

and uplifted by the artworks. 7 Of course it’s the life of the work afterwards that really

matters, within the daily rounds of the Phoenix Care Centre itself. Whether artists,

curators or audiences, as artworks take on a life of their own we inevitably move

away from them. If we’re lucky, and remain alert to it, a little of their beauty might

come with us.

John Graham

1 From the commissioning brief.

2 From phone conversation between Aisling Prior and the writer, 12/06/20.

3 Ibid.

4 From the artist’s original proposal for the work.

5 From the artist’s original proposal for the work.

6 Byrne’s title comes from the last line of Inversnaid by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

7 From phone conversation between Aisling Prior and the writer, 12/06/20.



The Life of Loans:

On the Politics of Belonging

and Co-existence

Christina Kennedy

Senior Curator Head of

Collections, Irish Museum

of Modern Art

George Warren, Green Centaur,

2015, on loan from the OPW

Alice Maher, The Axe (and the Waving Girl),

2003, on loan from IMMA

THE LIFE OF LOANS: ON THE POLITICS OF BELONGING AND CO-EXISTENCE 76–77

Art is good for us. None of us quite understand how or why but therein

lies its power. The life of art – the life of loans – is reflected in the time in which they

exist and the level of interest in them. Artworks are only as meaningful as access to

them is possible. All art in public collections is there for and because of the public.

It is the duty of those of us who care for our National Collections, to make them live,

to make them accessible and meaningful for as wide an audience as possible. It is

important to open the Collection out, to encourage new thinking. Works are there for

our reinterpretation. Everyone’s readings are their own and narratives are as open as

there are people to engage with the work.

IMMA is hugely committed to the principle of sharing the National Collection

of Modern and Contemporary Art. 23 years of national programming of the

Collection has resulted in over 200 exhibitions, (with more than 2,000 works lent),

throughout Ireland, from Derry to Kerry. This has been due in no small measure to the

programming efforts of my colleague IMMA curator Johanne Mullan, whose collaborative

practice with arts offices, galleries, civic spaces, hospitals, festivals and venues

normally outside the scope of contemporary art, has brought the true meaning of ‘Art

for the People’ to life. Lending works from the National Collections is based on sharing,

trust and collaboration, on the politics of belonging and co-existence.

IMMA Collection works range from painting, sculpture and work on paper

to photography, video, performance art, digital art and installation. We are continuously

researching how best to address the acquisition and preservation of time-based

and ephemeral artworks that so many artists pursue today through performative,

conceptual, collaborative and participatory practices, so that these works too may be

seen beyond the museum.

When considering loans, IMMA has a responsibility to ensure appropriate

conditions of care are undertaken by the borrower including; a suitable physical

location; that the artist’s installation specifications for the work are met; the correct

environmental conditions, security of the artwork, transport, insurance, the cost of

routine conservation; informational signage for audience engagement with the work

and so on. Once loans are approved, we collaborate assiduously with venues and

curators to help them meet criteria to make the loans happen.

Since 2015, Alice Maher’s The Axe (and the Waving Girl, 2003), has been

on loan from IMMA to TU Dublin where it is installed on the Grangegorman campus, at

the top of the Cultural Garden. It is a unique artwork of two parts, cast from bronze and

painted. It draws on the artist’s abiding interest in nature and culture, transformation,

folklore and memory. A miniscule girl is waving towards a monumental axe, which is

leaning precariously against a tree. The work plays with scale, distance and closeness,

a disruption of the natural balance and a degree of apparent menace. Young students

from nearby St. Paul’s CBS (The Brunner) interpreted the piece: ‘…it teaches children

how to deal with fear/life; it is about male/female; child/parent; the axe is the tool of

the good woodsman; it saves the child; it is also threatening and scary…’ By now the

sculpture has become an established meeting point.

George Warren’s large, expressively carved Green Centaur (2015), on

loan from the Collection of the Office of Public Works, also harks to a mythological,

fantasy world. Located in the foyer of the Greenway Hub, its woodland presence is so

strikingly in contrast with the sheer surfaces of the architectural setting that it evokes

‘a voice both at odds with and in perfect sync with our time’ as artist Patrick Graham

described Warren’s approach to his art.



The Primary Care Centre

To coincide with its opening in 2018, an exhibition of artworks in various

media was installed in the Primary Care Centre on loan for three years. It also inaugurated

a novel lending scheme, with a modest annual fee to the artist and which, if the

art is purchased in the meantime, the artist will replace with another work.

As HSE Executive Derek Dockrell remarked: ‘Art has the ability to

encourage reflection and thought. Perhaps one is more prepared to let this happen

while in healthcare buildings, to contemplate a piece and wonder…’ The works by ten

esteemed artists include painting, sculpture, photography and archive assemblage

and are thought provoking, personal, empathetic and uplifting.

Memory is evoked through familiar domestic spaces, thresholds, windows

and textures in the works of Mary Burke; the close relationship of mother and

young son is redolent in Catriona Brocklebank’s imaginative evocation. Space, nuance

and light are the focus of Helen Gorey’s sublimely refined orchard-inspired, colourfield

paintings while Marie Holohan’s vividly coloured, striated and patterned horizons

hover between reality and abstraction.

David Beattie’s photographs explore perceptions of light and the passage

of time, as day transitions to night, its movement tracked on a pendant glass light

shade, while the intensely detailed drawings of urban glimpses of truncated streets

and quotidian objects, are characteristic of Dorothy Smith.

Julie Merriman’s palimpsestic surfaces are the result of using typewriter

carbon on paper and notational marks based on systems and methodologies used by

cartographers, mathematicians, architects to denote place, structure and concept,

that overlap to illicit new readings. Wall-mounted, painted geometric timber sculptures

are playfully calculated by Gemma Fitzpatrick, from comparatively analysed

statistics that relate to her own day-to-day.

Frieze (2003) is one of a series of photographic projects by Martin &

Hobbs. The two artists have separate solo careers as Fergus Martin and Anthony

Hobbs. Frieze consists of 11 large scale photographs that form a tableau portraying an

array of gestures of an individual figure, (Martin), that mimic the respective sight lines

and postures of each of the apostles in a 16 th century wall painting ‘The Assumption of

the Virgin’, by Rosso Fiorentino. The 12 th apostle according to the artists is the viewer.

Another edition of this work is in the Collection of IMMA.

Alan Counihan’s installation Personal Effects, with related photographs,

video and soundtrack, is the only work made in direct response to the former psychiatric

institution, St. Brendan’s Grangegorman. Profoundly moving, it was assembled

from personal items found in the attic of the hospital that had been removed from

patients and never returned, including handbags and suitcases, birth certs, letters,

family photographs, mirrors combs, prayer books, diaries etc.

The therapeutic effects of the arts on health and well-being are well

appreciated if still not fully understood. Art helps people express experiences that

often are too difficult to bring to mind, or put into words. Artists can often give powerful,

aesthetic expression to ideas, emotions and situations that are often at the limits

of experience, not so easily articulated through other means.

It is in works such as Counihan’s that we find art that can test and expose

society’s implicit value commitments, particularly in current times as we seek to

reconsider so much of what has been taken for granted. In time to come, the artworks

that are acquired or remain on long term loan as part of ‘…the lives we live’, their

archives, how they were programmed, the history of their prioritisation, why they are

of interest (whether borrowed or collected), will throw light on the aspirations, ethics

and aesthetics of this contemporary cultural moment and, to paraphrase an assertion

of Charles Esche, may provide another background against which things can be

ordered and inform society’s recollections in time to come.

Alan Counihan, Personal Effects, 2012, photograph, Grangegorman Primary Care Centre

THE LIFE OF LOANS: ON THE POLITICS OF BELONGING AND CO-EXISTENCE 78–79

IMMA looks forward to developing further its relations with TU

Dublin, the HSE Primary Care Centre, and Educate Together Primary School within

the rejuvenated locale of Grangegorman and its neighbourhoods, in the heartland of

Dublin 7.



PRIMARY CARE CENTRE ARTWORKS 80–81

Mary Burke, Equilibrium, 2003, oil pastel

on canvas, 120 × 120 cm

Catríona Brocklebank, Mother and Son, 2018, oil pastel on canvas, 40 × 30 cm

Gemma Fitzpatrick, Taken from Diaries, 2014

Marie Holohan, Hospital, acrylic on canvas, 100 ×100 cm

Helena Gorey, Raw Sienna (from What You Need for Painting series),

2003, oil on paper, 50 × 50 cm



PRIMARY CARE CENTRE ARTWORKS 82–83

David Beattie, Day and Night, 2011, photographic print

Julie Merriman CompilerVIII, 2016, typewriter carbon

film on paper, 120cm × 120cm

Dorothy Smith, Traffic Island with Cable Ties,

Pencil on Paper, 38 × 56cm

Martin & Hobbs, Frieze detail, 2003, Archival Pigment Print



84–85

Stories

Between Us –

‘Fill the Gap’

Moira Ingle and Marta Stefan enjoying a game of Jenga at the first workshop

held at the National Museum Museum. Photo: Lori Keeve

Janine

Davidson



STORIES BETWEEN US 86–87

Bespoke memory box of objects to encourage play

and interaction between intergenerational groups.

Photo Lori Keeve; Memory box: Martin Brennan carpenter

Concept

Stories Between Us initiated

by artist Janine Davidson is

an art-based intergenerational

project involving partnering

with The National Museum of

Ireland – Decorative Arts &

History, Collins Barracks and

St. Gabriel’s National School

in the Dublin 7 area. Project

participants included 5 th and

6 th class students of St.

Gabriel’s National School and

senior citizens from Henrietta

Street Adult Community

Education (HACE) and Phibsboro

Retirement Association. The

curatorial team included the

artist Janine Davidson, Helen

Beaumont and Aisling Dunne

from The National Museum of

Ireland, Education Team; Dr.

Muldowney, Dublin City Council

Historian-in-Residence and Anna

Stories Between Us was an intergenerational public

arts project in partnership with the National Museum

of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks,

Henrietta Adult Community Education, Phibsboro

Active Retirement Association, St Gabriel’s National

School and the Grangegorman Development Agency.

This was an object-based oral history project, that used

themes of past times, recreation and play, to encourage

both older and younger people to share their stories

and create a box of handling objects reflecting their

different perspectives. This memory box of objects

was selected to encourage playful and practical interactions

between intergenerational groups.

One year on from Stories Between Us exhibition at the National Museum,

I invited Mary Cashin, Abdirahman Calawi, Séamus Mc Cabe Jones, his Mum Caoimhe

Mc Cabe along with Irina Pampareu and her Mum Irina Fiodorova, to join me in a conversation

to capture their reflections and thoughts about the project.

What follows are memories of an intergenerational process of play.

Irina P. enjoyed playing cards with Lorena and two other adults, she

enjoyed weaving as well. Mags had introduced us to the weaving called ‘fill the gap’, a

simple technique using card and cotton thread to create a knotted friendship bracelet.

Mary’s favourite was the weaving, and playing with the plasticine – she really enjoyed

that. Abdirahman also liked the weaving and enjoyed the Tai Chi that was orchestrated

by Mary Hayes. The weaving was in some ways a metaphor for the project as

Michael from HACE had poetically put it: ‘The weaving is like the diversity of Ireland

today, the younger generations from different cultures coming together and changing

Ireland, it’s going to be an interesting next 50 years.’

Caoimhe still has the clay boot that Marie made to represent the story

that Séamus had told in the interview session. She says it is really nice that they still

have it, and the conkers, ‘you pick them up from time to time, and have a look at it, after

a while you pick it up again, its just nice to have’. A tangible reminder that illustrates

the object-based nature of the project. Séamus liked ‘playing Jenga with the adults

O’Loughlin Project Leader and

Community Liaison Teacher, St.

Gabriel’s National School.

In September 2018 Janine

Davidson and members of the

Museum’s education team visited

each group to introduce

the project. In October and

November 2018, participants

met at the Museum to play

games and share stories.

During these sessions, smaller

groups of both younger and

older participants came

together to be recorded talking

about their childhoods,

hobbies, and experiences of

play and pastimes. Dr. Mary

Muldowney provided expertise

on collecting and recording

oral histories at these

intergenerational sessions.

A memory box of objects was

selected to encourage playful

and practical interactions

between intergenerational

groups.

The Stories Between Us

exhibition in the National

Museum at Collins Barracks

opened on 8th May 2019 and ran

from then until March 2020.

Visitors could engage with

the exhibition through the

display of personal artefacts

donated by the participants

and the tactile, specially

created ‘Memory Boxes’. They

could watch a short film

of the project and listen

to an audio recording of

some of the participants’

interviews. Further elements

included a flipbook of

participants’ drawings and

writing. An exhibition booklet

accompanied the exhibition,

with articles providing a range

of perspectives, a catalogue

of the donated objects and

a pull-out family activity

sheet. During May–June 2019,

primary schools were invited to

take tours of the exhibition,

facilitated by the artist

Janine Davidson and project

participants from St. Gabriel’s

NS. In August 2019 family

audiences engaged in the ‘Games

on the Square’ open air event

and workshop facilitated by

the artist as part of Heritage

Week 2019.

Additional support was provided

by The National Museum of

Ireland, Collins Barracks

Education & Outreach Team –

Edith Andrees and Lorraine

Comer. Also Dr. Arlene

Crampsie, School of Geography,

UCD, Director, Oral History

and the conkers, it was all good’. Séamus said he would never have played conkers if

he hadn’t been introduced to the game in the group. Caoimhe thinks you need someone

with the know-how to do it. It looks simple but there is a bit of technique involved;

this had been previously shared by John O’Flynn, Lenny Dunne, David King and Pat

Gately. On more than one occasion during the project, they had recalled their boyhood

winning formulas for conker matches, like heating the conkers in the oven to harden

them or coating them with varnish.

Abdirahman was one of the tour guides at the Stories Between Us exhibition

in the museum, giving him an invaluable opportunity to talk to his peers about

their work. We discussed how one of the schools from East Wall that had visited the

exhibition have a conker tournament every year which the whole school embraces.

Mary thinks a conkers tournament game would be a great idea in schools, as it keeps

up a very old tradition; ‘they used to do that years ago to keep it going to keep old

games ongoing’. We discussed how the project brought up old games and illustrated

the difference of indoor and outdoor play. Street games in particular. Séamus plays

a lot of football on the street; his mum says they don’t have a garden, which is also a

factor. He goes over to Grangegorman a lot now as he also plays basketball.

Mary has been making masks for her daughter for her acupuncture practice.

Our conversation has inevitably shifted from talking about past times to what we

are all doing to pass the time as we collectively experience restrictions of movement.

Irina has been drawing; she showed us a fantastic drawing of Harry Potter and a

beautiful water colour landscape. Her mum also showed us her painting. Abdirahman

has been reading a lot of Skulduggery Pleasant. Irina P. misses going to the beach as

the weather is really nice, she normally goes to the beach at Bray or to Dollymount in

Clontarf. Mary sneaks out for quiet walks to the little park in front of her house, she

peeps out first then does a couple of laps of the park to keep her fit, ‘otherwise you

would go crazy’.

Janine Davidson demonstrates the task to participants, Stories

Between Us workshop, 2019, National Museum of Ireland,

Collins Barracks. Photo: Lori Keeve

Irina P. tells us her Mum is a single child and so is her grandmother and

her grandmother before her so she is from a very small family. She only has two

cousins on her Dad’s side but she doesn’t get to see them. We discuss the differences

and similarities between family size and how this is changing. Abdirahman misses his

cousins and family, he has a very large extended family, his mum is one of fourteen.

Caoimhe tells us that Séamus’s grandmother was one of eleven. Mary’s husband Jim

was one of nine. Caoimhe tells us that families are definitely getting smaller as her

mother only had four kids and she only had one.

We talk about the importance of play…



STORIES BETWEEN US 88–89

Network of Ireland; Dr.

Carmel Gallagher, Lecturer,

School of Languages, Law and

Social Sciences, TU Dublin;

Dr. Gary Granville, Emeritus

Professor of Education NCAD;

Anne Fitzpatrick, Lecturer,

School of Languages, Law and

Social Sciences, TU Dublin;

Martin Brennan, carpenter for

Memory boxes; Oisín McFarland,

Film Editing; Language

Communications Studio; Office

of Public Works for assistance

in exhibition installation.

Photography by Lori Keeve,

Brian Cregan, Aisling Dunne

and Janine Davidson.

Stories Between Us featured

on 8 May, in The Irish Times

and on 6 November 2019 as part

of RTÉ News2day. Discussions

continue with the artist,

The National Museum, TU

Dublin and Henrietta Street

Adult Community Education

about further creative

intergenerational initiatives.

Biographies

Janine Davidson is a

multidisciplinary artist who,

over the past two decades, has

developed an artistic practice

that is committed to helping

others engage in contemporary

arts practice. Over this

period she has worked with many

diverse groups and institutions

on multifaceted projects

and initiatives. Davidson’s

practice explores individual

experience and collective

memory, the social space in

which we learn and how we learn

from each other.

Janine Davidson, B.A, H.Dip,

MFA, Projects have been funded

by Arts Council of Ireland, the

British Council, CDETB, Digital

Hub, Dormant Account Funds,

Dublin City Council Community

Grants, Dublin Port Authority,

Fundación Botín, National

Learning Network, Royal Ulster

Academy and Grangegorman

Development Agency.

The National Museum of Ireland

(NMI) collects and preserves

objects relating to the history

and culture of Ireland, and

its place in the wider world.

The Museum invites the widest

range of people to engage in

learning experiences, using

the collections and exhibitions

as inspiration. NMI Education

develops specialised programmes

and services for and with

schools, families, adults and

communities, including tours,

conferences, performances,

Mary says ‘it keeps you going, keeps you young, she loved the interaction

between the children and the older groups, it was great fun. I think everyone benefited

from it. You have to do play things no matter what age you are; it keeps you connected

somehow or another. It’s too easy to get stuck in a rut and do nothing’. Irina P. enjoys

that ‘play allows you to use your imagination and creativity’.

Abdirahman, ‘I think play is a really good thing because it connects, if

you play with a kid… instead of just telling them with words it connects better to their

brain so I think it’s a really good thing… it helps build an image in your head.’ Mary

explains that ‘learning through doing as opposed to being told, is much more fun…

learning through interaction’.

Stories Between Us, uses the object as a catalyst for story telling, bringing

together old and young to explore intergenerational play as an artistic medium

engaging with the notion of community through collective experience. The joyful

instinct to play and its role in learning, as well as the importance of play in developing

social bonds, emotional resilience and physical well being was central to the project.

Janine Davidson

Tai Chi directed by Mary Hayes in the

courtyard as part of the getting to know you

workshop. Photo Lori Keeve

long-term projects and

community exhibitions. Objectbased

learning through the

use of Handling Collections

is central to our programmes,

stimulating memory, fostering

historical empathy and

encouraging creative thinking

and interactivity using all

the senses. The project team

included Helen Beaumont,

Education & Outreach Officer,

and Museum educators Dr. Edith

Andrees (to October 2018) and

Aisling Dunne (from October

2018).

Phibsboro Active Retirement is

a voluntary organisation for

older people with a national

membership of over 24,500

people and over 550 local

associations. Betty Haynes set

up Phibsboro Active Retirement

in 1989. In 2003 Maura Murphy

established the art group.

The art group is based at St.

Peter’s Court, Phibsboro Road

meeting on a weekly basis.

Classes are subsidised by

Active Retirement Ireland and

partly funded by Dublin City

Council community grants.

St. Gabriel’s National School

is located in Stoneybatter in

Dublin 7 and has a rich history

dating back to 1895. Principal

Suzanne Comerford, is proud of

the school’s participation in

the project. The commitment

and enthusiasm of the children

who participated was clearly

evident and they gained

valuable insight into their

community, as did those who

viewed the exhibition. A

special note of appreciation

should be made for teacher,

Anna O’Loughlin, who worked

hard to engage young

participants.

The Henrietta Adult and

Community Education (HACE) a

service of the Daughters of

Charity Community Services

was set up in 2002 and is a

dedicated Community Education

provider for adults in the

North Inner city who are

educationally, socially or

economically disadvantaged.

HACE provides on average

25 part time courses

and activities for its

participants, the majority of

which are held in the evening.

Links

www.janinedavidson.com

www.museum.ie/en-IE/Museums/

Decorative-Arts-History/Engage-

And-Learn/Schools-Educational-

Visits/Primary

These plasticine figures representing an older and younger

person holding hands, were created by one of the participants

as a response in an evaluation exercise. Photo: Brian Cregan

This conversation with some of the participants took place via a ZOOM meeting recorded on 8 May 2020.

Thanks to all who contributed to this text. HACE – Henrietta Street Adult Community Education, Dublin 7,

learners: Margaret Maxwell, John O’Flynn, Leonard Dunne, Pat Gately, David King. St. Gabriel’s NS students

past and present: Abdirahman Calawi, Irina Pampareu, Lorena Ariesan and Séamus Mc Cabe Jones. Parents of

students: Caoimhe Mc Cabe and Irina Fiodorova. Phibsboro Active Retirement Association, learners: Mary Cashin,

Mary Hayes and Marie Mills.



TU Dublin School

of Creative Arts

Kieran Corcoran

Head of the Dublin School

of Creative Arts, Technological

University Dublin

In late 2011 the TU Dublin School of Creative Arts (then the DIT School

of Art, Design and Printing) took the momentous decision to relocate from a number

of north inner city buildings to the long awaited new DIT (now TU Dublin) campus in

Grangegorman. This was in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression

in Ireland and shortly after the arrival of the infamous IMF troika. In fact, February

2012 saw the postponement of the Grangegorman campus project due to the state of

the public finances and all new building on the campus was put on hold. Education,

however, is always a long march and we believed that if we moved immediately there

was an excellent chance that we could play a leading role in securing and developing

a new creative arts centre on a magnificently appointed site at the northwestern edge

of the old Georgian city centre of Dublin. Repurposing a number of beautiful cast

limestone buildings from their original function as mental health medical facilities

to a series of art and design studios and workshops, we started the new academic

year in September 2014. Such a move is always fraught and despite the dislocation,

our students and staff celebrated their achievement with a fantastically successful

graduation exhibition Lift Off in 2015.

From September 2020 we will be joining with our colleagues in the TU

Dublin Conservatoire, School of Media and Languages, Law and Social Sciences in a

new 17,000 square-metre centre for the creative performing and media arts. Bringing

all the visual arts together with Music, Drama, Film, Gaming, TV, Journalism, Languages

and the Humanities and Social Sciences in a custom built building with new

art and design studios, concert and recital halls, theatre and TV studios will be a first

for Irish university education. Such a building brings with it a whole new series of

challenges and makes us consider questions about how to create a multidisciplinary

space for the arts in a technological university or how to make sure that this wonderful

new facility actually engages with the wider metropolitan and national community.

Just over one hundred

years ago, Walter Gropius confidently

stated that ‘the ultimate purpose of all

art is the building’ (Manifesto of the

Staatliches Bauhaus, 1919). Memorably

depicted in Lionel Feninger’s woodcut as

a crystalline cathedral, he dedicated art

and design education to its design and

construction. As a simple expression of

the essence of the modernist project it

was perfect. But no such simple answer

exists today. Any attempt to discuss the

relationship between art, education and

society in general must face the fact that

key ideas such as society, art, culture

and education are themselves undergoing

radical transformation. We are living

in an age where the impact of technological change – the emergence of big data,

climate change, migration, social exclusion and new political models – has challenged

accepted notions of the purpose of society, the role of work and, in particular, the

practice of art and design. Defining the nature and role of a multidisciplinary arts

Fine Art student Ellen Duffy, Assembling Agency

TU DUBLIN SCHOOL OF CREATIVE ARTS 90–91

space in a Technological University on a new campus in a living city quarter with a

historic and varied past is now quite a challenge.

It is possible to look at the purpose of a multidisciplinary arts space

located within TU Dublin from a number of different points of view. Given the size

and scale of this new centre it can address key developmental challenges for the

Irish cultural and heritage sector. The schools located in this new centre have a long

tradition and history of professional practice based education across music, film, art,

drama, design, etc, and this wide discipline mix can open up a new space for research

and enquiry through practice in the development of new forms of creative practices.

For example the core studio based approach in art and design education is part and

parcel of the TU pegdagogical model and can (and has been) utilised to develop new

hybrid art and design practices that have addressed various social challenges across

housing health and community engagement. Additionally, the combination of a wide

range of disciplines from across TU Dublin can provide arts organisations across Ireland

with graduates with a deep understanding of the arts combined with the skills of

marketing, management, law, coding and business. But most importantly the energy

of nearly 3,000 musicians, artists, designers, film makers, actors, directors and theorists

of culture, media, politics and society all under the same roof can become an

extraordinary resource for all and in time inspire new directions across all areas of

our cultural life.

None of these ambitions can be achieved unless we create a place that is

outward facing and is willing to engage at all levels with the professional disciplines,

the diverse communities of practice in the local city area and provide a space where

all feel welcome and at home. The new centre must be a vibrant arts space at the

heart of this old city quarter and not an aloof academic building with occasional public

events. As part of this process, the TU Dublin School of Creative Arts runs the annual

Summer Studio programme where artists and curators are given free studio space

over the quiet summer period as a way

of addressing the studio accommodation

crisis in Dublin. Lecturers in the school

have also run workshops for primary

schools across the northern city and

have been heavily involved in bringing

their knowledge and expertise into the

art classes of local secondary schools.

Since 2014 we have been

working hard on the idea of creating a

vibrant arts space and several initiatives

have been launched through ‘…the

lives we live’ Grangegorman Public Art

programme that have opened out the

university and its campus to involve for

example, all the local schools, heritage

groups, pensioners groups, minority

communities, local arts festivals and new migrant groups. The school will mark its

involvement with the ‘…the lives we live’ by hosting a major international conference

called ‘Public Art Now’ in 2021 in the new East Quad building. The conference is being

coordinated by the school with the active involvement of The Arts Council, Dublin

City Council, Fingal Council, Visual Arts Ireland, The Irish Architecture Foundation

and Create and will focus on the practice, policy and theory of public art. The key

themes of the conference are ‘Public Art: Processes and Publics’, ‘Public Art and the

Anthropocene’ and ‘Ecologies of Place and Space’ and will feature a wide variety of

mobile workshops where participants can visit and experience important public art

projects in Dublin and, hopefully, in the rest of Ireland.

Fine Art student Leah Millar, Construct



TU DUBLIN SCHOOL OF CREATIVE ARTS 92–93

At a strategic level the arts will have a key role to play in TU Dublin in a number of

distinct ways. The goal of an engaged university can be realised though a vibrant creative

arts community and environment based around the new university performance

and exhibition spaces. A new campus with a creative arts centre at its heart can act as

a catalyst for active engagement with a wide range of diverse communities in Dublin,

Ireland and further afield. Looking at key policy initiatives, the centre can address

the challenge of climate change in the development of new educational programmes

in the arts which focus on raising awareness of such issues and educating art and

design practitioners on how to address the Anthropocene in their practice. In the

current context, a focused multidisciplinary research programme on an alternative

and sustainable model of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship using models of

contributive income to address the phenomenon of precarity and unequal distribution

among all artists will be very necessary. Finally, the arts are essential to helping the

new university develop a distinct mission by imagining new ways of living and new

forms of expression which can help shape how the interaction between technological

development and societal change manifests itself.

Katie Staniford, Transducer

Kevin Smith, Love in Technicolour



94–95

Time as

Form

Nasir El Safi

Hina Khan

Hichem

Nala

Curated by Anita Groener

Nasir El Safi, Human and Devil, 2019, acrylic on canvas

Hina Khan, Destiny Unknown, 2019, cloth, paper tape,

installation on Culture Night



TIME AS FORM 96–97

Biographies

Nasir El Safi is from Sudan

where he worked as a journalist

with several human rights

organisations and newspapers,

writing about extremist

religious groups, women’s

rights and fighting illiteracy.

He is the author of several

documentaries and an active

member of the International

Organisation of Journalists.

Arrested a number of times

in Sudan and dismissed as a

result of his human rights

activities, Nasir arrived in

Ireland in 2017 and lived in

Direct Provision. In 2019 he

received refugee status. In

his paintings he addresses the

impact of trauma, violence

and war in Sudan and the

effect of Direct Provision.

An exhibition of refugee artists work presented on

Culture Night 2019 in TU Dublin, Grangegorman. Sponsored

by the Grangegorman Public Art Programme,

this event was hosted by Spirasi & TU Dublin.

In 2015 the world watched in real time how thousands of Syrian refugees

walked into Europe as they were forced to leave their homeland. It was the

biggest exodus of people since WWII, one of the most appalling sights to witness.

Today, five years later, we just passed the midpoint of the lockdown of COVID-19, a

rampant virus that caused thousands of people to die and millions to lose their jobs

across the world. As we slowly come to grips with the ruthless fallout of this pandemic,

our attention digresses toward the gut-wrenching racist scenes played out

through police brutality in North America, which killed another black person, this time,

George Floyd. It has opened a wound so deep, embedded in history, that the response

in anti-racist protests has reached all corners of the globe.

At the time of writing this I am sitting in my studio at home. The window

is open, I hear children playing in the garden next door, birds are singing. The dog

has nestled herself at the base of my chair. Imposed by a strict quarantine rule we

have been confined to home for nearly three months. Home became a specific and

fixed location, the only place we were allowed and supposed to be, in the hope that

collectively, as a nation, we would curb the virus. In the context of writing this text,

in my mind, the account of the pandemic confinement together with the swell of

anti-racist protests across the world, including Ireland, serendipitously merged. Riven

by conditions of endemic uncertainty, it is not an understatement to say that we live

in a liquid, unpredictable time. If anything, no matter when and where we live, it is

our need and desire to belong. A place where we can feel at home, a place where we

feel safe. According to the German philosopher Martin Heidegger ‘home (as an act of

dwelling) is the essence of being, the essence of being in the world.’

From both a spatial and a temporal perspective, for migrants, home is

an intense biographical transition. Their trajectory through acculturation demands

varying interpretations and adjustments of home that inevitably shift over the course

of time. For refugees, who forcibly had to flee their homeland, home is defined by the

absence of it in the present moment. For refugees, home is a place in the past or is

mapped out onto the future. This is particularly rife when he or she is confined to

prolonged living in a refugee camp or, in Ireland, in Direct Provision. Being trapped in

this system, sometimes for years, the effect on people who live with severe traumatic

memories, is detrimental. Stuck in no man’s land, the essential process of homing

stagnates and becomes corrupted. This way people cannot assimilate to the new

culture of their adopted country. Going through the Direct Provision system in Ireland

denigrates and isolates, it sets and keeps people apart. When asylum seekers

receive refugee status (this can take years of waiting) and are allowed to leave the

Direct Provision system they face further racial prejudice trying to find accommodation

and work. The Direct Provision system labels people as different, it marks them

as the other. The process of othering is insidious. Othering is based on the conscious

or unconscious assumption that certain identified groups, such as refugees, pose a

threat to another group. While anxiety about difference and change is natural, othering

is not. Othering is socially and culturally constructed through the language we

use, a rhetoric that purposely sets out to normalise othering, driven by the media and

political agendas. The opposite to othering is belonging. Belonging does not insist

that we are all the same, it means we recognise and celebrate our differences.

Nasir was a recipient of a

Summer Project Studio in the

School of Creative Arts, TU

Dublin Grangegorman Campus to

make work for ‘Time as Form’

exhibition. Sorcha Pollak

wrote about him in ‘New to the

Parish’, the Irish Times series

published on Wednesday 18

September 2019. Nasir is based

in Tuam.

Hina Khan is a miniaturist /

visual artist from Pakistan.

She uses a mixture of

traditional and innovative

techniques. Hina’s work

portrays social issues, such as

immigration and human rights

abuses linked to prostitution,

gender discrimination and child

abuse. Hina has a Masters in

Fine Arts from Fatima Jinnah

Women University, Pakistan. She

studied Visual Research Methods

in NCAD. Hina was the first

recipient of the Create and

Fire Station Artists’ Studios

one-month Artist Residency

Award in June 2018 during

refugee week. Hina’s experience

of living in a Direct Provision

Centre has had a marked impact

on her work. Since receiving

refugee status Hina and her

young family are based in

Kinsale. She was artist in

residence in Uillinn, WCAC in

Skibbereen, West Cork in 2019

and so far has exhibited in

several places in Ireland.

Hichem is a self-taught

artist from North Africa.

Tortured by an oppressive

regime and escaping systematic

dehumanisation, Hichem embarked

on a long and difficult journey

before he found a safe place

in Ireland. Over the last

number of years he found a

vocabulary in art enabling him

to deal with the imprint of

trauma. Through the very act

of painting and drawing, his

extreme experience is released,

allowing for the healing of

mind and body.

Nala is from Sri Lanka where

she studied art. Nala started

painting when she was 17 years

old watching Tamil movies

(Kollywood). She works in

acrylics, water colors, ink,

charcoal and oil pastel on

paper and canvas. She does lino

cuttings and wood etchings. She

has studied art in Sri Lanka

and at IT Sligo. Nala has Irish

citizenship. The TU Dublin

Summer Studio Residencies

began in 2012 when the Fine

Art Department was based in

One of the happiest memories during the lead up to the ‘Time as Form’

exhibition was how Nasir transformed from when I first met him in Spirasi. At that time

he was living in a Direct Provision Centre in Galway. The mentoring programme Natacha

and I set up for the artists in this exhibition allowed Nasir to temporarily relocate

to Dublin so that he could access the summer studio he was awarded in the TU Dublin

School of Creative Arts in Grangegorman. These new circumstances introduced a

normality in Nasir’s life. For the first time since living in Ireland he felt whole again. He

was able to feel at home through simple everyday activities like eating, working, cooking,

sleeping. Such an ordinary universal pattern of living turned out to be the tonic

for a traumatised body and soul that very much helped Nasir in the healing process.

The artists in this exhibition are all survivors of torture. I met Hichem,

Hina, Nala and Nasir through Natacha O’Brien in Spirasi, the humanitarian, intercultural,

non-governmental organisation in Ireland. Spirasi works with asylum seekers,

refugees and other disadvantaged migrant groups, with a special concern for survivors

of torture. Pushed on a journey not of their choosing, these artists are forced

to continually rethink every strap of their existence in relation to the world they find

themselves in. Their art is a visceral index of grief, the very fabric in the process of

recovery and rehabilitation, unravelling and stitching together memories in response

to where they are now. Symbolic representation, narratives and motifs in these artists

work point to the complex of trauma, to systems of torture, oppression and subjugation.

Their biographical continuity is a fragmented history due to colonisation and

related systemic violence, scars that cut deeply into their personal lives.

Through years of colonial suppression and mass emigration from this

island, Irish people experienced the anguish of racial prejudice first-hand, knowing

empirically how certain practices dehumanise immigrants. Yet we carry on the inadequate,

immoral private enterprise of the Direct Provision system back home. The

racial injustice, alive in Ireland today, continues to compound the predicament of refugees.

The current global protests are a wakeup call. In the article in The New Yorker,

June 1, 2020, ‘On the Frustration Behind the George Floyd Protests’ the civil rights

lawyer Bryan Stevenson talks about the history of enslavement of black people but his

words ring through for racial injustice anywhere ‘…the fiction that certain people aren’t

as good as white people, and aren’t the equals of white people, and are less evolved,

less human, less capable, less worthy, less deserving than white’. What is needed in

the world and what we need right now in Ireland is an urgent unbiased dialogue that

will engender a new paradigm of a shared, inherent humanity and integration for all

on this island.

Anita Groener

Nasir El Safi in TU Dublin Summer Studio, 2019



TIME AS FORM 98–99

Hichem, Blindfolded, 2019, oil on canvas

Portland Row. The impetus was

the awareness of the lack

of Dublin studio spaces, the

availability of our studios

during the summer and the

opportunity for our students to

engage with other artists.

A call is sent out and the six

successful applicants (five

artists, one curator) are given

a rent free studio from June

to September. Those selected

are asked to engage with our

students during the academic

year. The spaces are offered

solely for the purpose of

assisting artists/curators to

complete a body of work for

exhibition. The residency has

attracted wonderful applicants

including Eithne Jordan, Vera

Klute and Kate Strain.

Time as Form exhibition, Culture Night, 2019. Photo: Lori Keeve

What is most heartening is that

our graduates such as Laura

Smith and Jane Fogarty who had

contact with residency artists

when they were students, have

now as artists themselves

availed of the programme.



100–101

Confinement

Trish

McAdam

Trish McAdam, 2020, Asylum Woman’s Face Pre-1900 (charcoal drawing and photographic layer)

– reconstructed for print (140 × 72 cm), from Confinement (still)

Questioning Socially-Acceptable Norms

Finding The Voice

Confinement opens with a Great Black-backed Gull

floating over a map of Dublin, watching those below,

earthbound. When I moved into Henrietta Street in

1977, it had neglected housing at one end and the

King's Inns, opposite the nuns hostel, at the other, and

the ruins of Grangegorman, a mental Asylum, beyond.

Strange bedfellows. At night, the street upheld a long

held reputation of the area, coined by a visiting bishop,

1727, who declared the local population ‘lewd and

unruly’. By 1977 the artists, escaping the catholic norms

of our suburban or rural upbringings were joining in.

I was a young unmarried mother with a six-week old

baby and the people I feared most were the nuns and

the lawyers. The tail end of Magdalene Laundry times,

the nuns would call around during the day to save me,

offering scapulars, but I wanted their thinking nowhere

near my child’s virgin mind.



Trish McAdam, 2020, Asylum Multiple Men’s Faces Pre-1900

(charcoal drawings layered) – reconstructed for print

(140 × 72 cm), from Confinement (still)

I watched seagulls for hours; nature’s urban scavengers, in tune with the

locals, not sweet like a country lark or suburban blackbird, or timid like a pigeon, but

tough, noisy, streetwise, their immaculate white feathers, as incongruous as a local

child’s dress on communion day.

When, 40 years later, my research for this film began, to rediscover the

area, it was a little seagull like, somewhat chaotic and gut-led. Things would ‘pop’ out

at me, on the street, on a page or screen, in a library, in conversation, or institution,

like the concepts of seagull observing generations of humans arriving in the area; the

tribal, the democrats, the oligarchs and Spartans bickering over laws, ideology, control

of land and technology, with the poor and unwell habitually shunted to the margins.

As my filmmaking began, my focus became more eagle eyed, fact-checking

ignorances, searching historical records, human memory and experiences, to

invent a dialogue between the ‘subjectivity’ of individual oral records and the bias of

‘objectivity’ of the recorded fact.

I found my seagull voice in Tony Rudenko, a reimagined monologue of a

dead man, a friend from my Raheny childhood, me lower middle class, him working

class. I went to university, Tony went to… the Royal Ballet, Billy Elliot style, danced

with Nureyev, escaped via Mexico and returned to Ireland where I introduced him to

Henrietta Street, and he went on to live there for 34 years, long after I left, until his

death in 2014. This urban maverick voice with all its irreverent, self-taught artist flow,

voiced by Aiden Gillen, a Dublin inner city northsider, who, coincidentally, had known

Tony in London.

Rendering the Past into the Digital Future

After discovering in the National Archive pre 1900 patients admission

photographs in the record books of The Richmond Asylum, I gained permission to

choose a limited number to make charcoal drawings from, to be used publicly for

the first time, anonymously without names or medical details. The photographs were

faded but as I drew, each of their timeless human emotions emerged, expressions one

might see today on the faces of the globally marginalised, migrants, homeless or those

with mental or physical health issues.

Working with Marc Sherwin, motion graphics, we digitised, inspired by

J. Lochhead’s BBC documentary, Inside Einstein’s Mind www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/

p03c19k0/player, in which Lochhead illustrated Einstein’s theory of spacetime, using

the potential temporality of a roll of film, cutting single frames from the film roll and

placing them on top of each other, creating a stack of time. We layered my charcoal

drawings of our space, our place, our faces into Adobe After Effects, and used its virtual

camera to move forward and backward through frames, in time to the ghost like

digital recordings of composer Roger Doyle.

Concept

Confinement, a 34-minute

digital film, comprising

hand drawn charcoal drawings,

photographs and live footage,

Super 8 and Go Pro, screened in

a video format with narration

and music. It is screened and

projected in both indoor and

outdoor environments.

Confinement was premiered in

the Honorable Society of the

King’s Inns, Henrietta Street,

on 21 February 2019. Special

thanks to Mary Griffin, CEO

and Under Treasurer for her

support. Confinement was later

shown as part of the Dublin

CONFINEMENT 102–103

The Ever Present, Unresolved, Societal Mental Health Issue

I knew Paul Caviston, psychiatrist FRCPsych, from his visits to the madness

of Henrietta Street in his student days and he became an advisor and collaborator

on the project. Among others I spoke to, Paul was present in St. Brendan’s before it

was shutdown, early 1980s. I asked Paul’s permission to print this note.

I was a medical student in the 1970s in Dublin

when I had my first encounter with Psychiatry. It was

in 1976 at Saint Brendan’s Hospital or Grangegorman,

as it was more usually known.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was showing at

the cinemas. R.D. Laing and Foucault peppered our

conversations over coffee and sorting out the world.

But then came the shock of the appalling reality of

the psychiatric wards we encountered on our student

placements.

Terms / practices/ traditions such as asylum,

refuge, hospitality, shelter, care or therapy had

no presence, and had been abandoned by the staff.

I was hit by the squalor of incarceration and

neglectful institutionalisation. Broken windows,

dirt, darkness and indiscriminate use of compulsory

detention restraint, multiple doses of ECT and

forcible sedation allied to views of patients as

somehow ‘totally other’. Psychiatric nurses acted as

custodians and patrolled the wards jangling keys on

lengthy chains.

My abiding and vivid memory is saying to myself

‘surely there is a better way to treat people

in distress than this barbarism’. It was just so

obviously wrong! Now with the gift of hindsight

we can see that these abuses were part of a much

more systemic pattern of abuses including Magdalene

Laundries, Children’s Homes, and widespread Clerical

Abuse to name but a few. Ireland of course is not

unique in this respect but it has an unfortunate

history of exporting difficult people and wallowing

in sentimental exceptionalism.

My medical year produced a significant number of

psychiatrists who’ve made reforming contributions

to Psychiatric practice. Sadly there remains

significant resistance to change and the genuine

engagement and egalitarian collaboration with

patients as persons.



CONFINEMENT 104–105

International Film Festival

in the Lighthouse Cinema

in Smithfield. In May 2019

Confinement was screened in

the Irish Film Institute. From

December 2019–January 2020 it

was part of ‘Utopia Dystopia’

exhibition, at the Lexicon

Gallery, Dun Laoghaire.

Biographies

Trish McAdam is a filmmaker

and visual artist. She began

filmmaking after a period in

the 1980s in New York's East

Village where she was hugely

influenced by the maverick

artists she met there. She

was a founding member of

Temple Bar Artists’ Studios

(1983) and a founder chair

of The Screen Directors

Guild of Ireland (2001). Her

films have a sociopolitical

perspective, fictionalized

reality, narrative documentary

on big screen big or small

screens – Snakes and Ladders

(1997), Hoodwinked (1998), No

Enemies Liu Xiaobo (2012) and

Strangers of Kindness (2015).

The Butler Gallery presented

a solo exhibition of new work

in 2016. She is currently in

development on a feature The

End of Romance, as writer/

director with producers Kees

Kasander and Edwina Forkin,

which is funded by Irish Screen

and Creative Europe. She has

an MA in Visual Arts Practice

2011, is a Member of Aosdána

(2017).

Actor Aidan Gillen provides

the voice of the narrator in

Confinement. He is an Irish

actor known for his portrayal

of Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish

in the HBO series Game of

Thrones (2011–2017), Dr. J.

Allen Hynek in The History

Channel’s Project Blue Book

(2019–present), Tommy Carcetti

in the HBO series The Wire

(2004–2008), Stuart Alan Jones

in the Channel 4 series Queer

as Folk (1999–2000), John

Boy in the RTÉ series Love/

Hate (2010–2011), Aberama

Gold in the BBC One series

Peaky Blinders (2017–2019),

Queen's manager John Reid in

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), and

CIA operative Bill Wilson in

The Dark Knight Rises (2012);

he also hosted seasons 10–13

of Other Voices (2011–2016).

Gillen has won three Irish Film

& Television Awards and has

been nominated for a British

Academy Television Award, a

British Independent Film Award,

and a Tony Award.

Film as a Dialogue

A film is not a thing in itself; it is about the experience of watching it.

The first screening of Confinement, hosted by CEO Mary Griffin, The

Kings’ Inns, Henrietta street, February 2019, was followed by a discussion between

Catriona Crowe (Archivist), Dr. Paul Caviston and the artist, introduced by John Rogers

(Senior Counsel).

Afterwards, John Rogers told me ‘I first saw Confinement on my computer,

sitting in a room in the King's Inns. I was conscious that I was sitting in the

storyline of the film, with Henrietta Street on my right and Grangegorman to my left,

and it sent a shiver down my spine’.

Watching Confinement for the first time, myself, with an audience, in a

site specific setting, with Henrietta street artist, Mick O’Dea’s large painting of Tony

Rudenko at the entrance, was like watching it anew, the kind of physical gathering we

recognise, because of its absence in COVID-19 times, as essential to human sanity.

At the discussion after, Catriona Crowe, having experienced difficulties

herself gaining access to historical mental health archival material, suggesting a society

that continues to feel shame, even by association, around mental health issues,

burying it as an uncomfortable or taboo subject.

Now we are in yet another global, technical, political and economic transition.

To what we are transitioning, I do not know. A chance to accept mental health

issues, we are, after all, only human. Time to flip the shame away from the individual

and address the underlying societal causes that can be cured?

Confinement – Opening Sequence (screenshot)

Roger Doyle composed the

sound for Confinement. He is

an Irish composer best known

for his electroacoustic work,

for which he was made a Saoi

of Aosdána. Also known for

his piano music for theatre.

Doyle founded the music theatre

company Operating Theatre with

Irish actress Olwen Fouéré and

wrote and performed on piano

onstage for the Steven Berkoff

version of the Oscar Wilde play

Salome which played in Dublin’s

Gate Theatre, in London's West

End and on three world tours.

Doyle has also composed scores

for several films including

Budawanny, and the documentary

Atlantean by Bob Quinn and Pigs

by Cathal Black. Doyle attended

the Royal Irish Academy of

Music for three years, studying

composing and at the Institute

of Sonology at the University

of Utrecht in the Netherlands

and the Finnish Radio

Experimental Music Studio.

Marc Sherwin provided motion

design for Confinement. He has

over 20 years experience in the

film business as both a graphic

designer and editor ranging

from television programming,

commercials, music videos to

feature and short films and

has collaborated with Trish

McAdam on a documentary and

five short films.

Psychiatrist Dr. Paul Caviston

provided advice. He has a BAO,

Royal College of Surgeons,

Ireland 1979, a MB LRCPSI,

Royal College of Surgeons,

Ireland 1979, a BCH MB BCh,

from the National University

of Ireland 1979 and a

FRCPSYCH, 2002. Caviston is

visiting consultant, Child &

Adolescent Psychiatrist, at

the Priory Hospital Chelmsford,

and an Honorary Consultant

Psychiatrist in Adolescent

Services for the National

Health Service in Brookside.

Orla Barry provided advice.

She is an Independent

Consultant in Mental Health

and Social Voluntary Sectors.

She is Chairperson of Gateway.

She was CEO of Mental Health

Ireland (2013–2017), Director,

Mental Health Reform (2010-

2013) and Director of Services

Focus Ireland (1994–2010).

Confinement has received

additional funding from Dublin

City Council.

Links

www.trishmcadam.com

Mick O’Dea, The Sentinel of Henrietta Street, acrylic on canvas,

150 × 120 cm; by kind permission of the artist



106–107

The Aesthetics

Group

I See Birds Flying Over the White House, Venice Biennale 2017.

Photo: John Beattie, October 2017

Jeanette Doyle

Cathy O’Carroll

Mick O’Hara

Connell Vaughan



THE AESTHETICS GROUP

108–109

Reading, Writing, Performance

The Aesthetics Group is a research group affiliated with

The Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (Grad-

CAM). The group include researchers and practitioners

from a variety of backgrounds such as philosophy, visual

art, digital media, theatre and performance. Since 2012,

the group has collaboratively engaged with aesthetic

theory, practice and policy to develop new critical

positions in aesthetics and related fields. An important

outcome of this research involves performative pedagogy:

the group collaboratively write texts around

which performances are enacted. This method of ‘pedagogical

performance’ serves to explore the potential

of performance as a vehicle for mobilising philosophic

and artistic languages and forms as research.

The group’s early work considered the idea of the avant-garde in contemporary

art and the role of the amateur in the digital age. As part of this project,

the group interviewed philosopher Bernard Stiegler. The resulting paper questioned

Stiegler’s mobilisation of the avant-garde in contemporary art. Both an extract of this

interview and response were published in the journal In/Print 2015, Vol. 3.

In Grangegorman, the group’s work includes research on the contemporary

criteria for Arts funding in Ireland and internationally. This project engaged the

European community of philosophers of art. A co-written paper (‘Turn, turn, turn: Civic

Instrumentalisation and the Promotion of Autonomy in Contemporary Arts Funding’)

was published in the Eurosa journal

(2015, Vol. 7). As part of this research

project, the group worked with curator

Kate Strain to develop the paper into

a performance: ‘A 100% Unique Press

Conference.’ This was presented at the

European Society for Aesthetics Conference

in June, 2015. The conference

was organised and hosted by Grad-

CAM and was the largest aesthetics

conference to take place in Ireland in

a decade.

The Inhuman Gaze Conference 2018, Paris;

Photo: Fiona O'Hara, June 2018

In 2016, the group engaged

with Doris Sommer’s book The Work of

Art in the World and developed a performance:

‘A Re-turn to Schiller’. This

involved a live feed link on the topic

of ‘the Educational Turn in Aesthetics’

between the Creative Agency in Local Communities conference in TU Dublin Grangegorman

and the European Society for Aesthetics 8 th Annual Conference in University

of Barcelona. The seminar in Dublin hosted an audience of art practitioners and educators

including Doris Sommer.

In recent years, the group has completed two significant research projects

that interrogated the politics of the aesthetic gaze and the multiple forms it takes.

In October 2017, the group performed a ‘research poem’ I See Birds Flying Over the

White House at the Research Pavilion in the context of 57 th Venice Biennale. This piece

was developed in response to Michael Bell-Smith’s original artwork Birds Over the

White House (2006, courtesy of the artist and Foxy Production, NY) which the artist

specially repurposed for the performance. A large-scale high-definition moving image

of Bell-Smith’s work was projected

onto the floor of the Pavilion, which

allowed the group to question the invasion

of airspace over the White House,

performing a critical interrogation of

the artwork through a collaboratively

written script delivered by four voices.

The recitation of this research poem,

through interlocution and movement,

opened a space to consider the politics

Writing process; July 2017.

Photo: Mick O'Hara

of the aesthetic gaze within a specific

territorial space.

Critical reflection of this

work was later presented by the group

as an academic paper entitled ‘A Post-

Digital Aesthetics of the Inhuman

Gaze: Reflections on I See Birds Flying

Over the White House’ at ‘The Inhuman

Gaze Conference,’ Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, June 2018. The presentation

marked the third iteration of an ongoing reflection on the politics of post-truth and

the aesthetics of the post-digital.

In April 2019, in response to group member Jeanette Doyle’s exhibition

at the AC Institute, NY, the group performed a Culture Ireland funded piece From A

to Z and Back Again. The work interrogated the aesthetics of language and politics in

the digital age. By responding to Doyle’s set of treated digital prints, which referenced

each letter of the alphabet, the performance offered a playful critique of the contested

nature of words and their constituents in both their analogue and digital registers.

In the context of the current crisis (COVID-19 pandemic) and the foregrounding

of the digital realm as the site of engagement, the group’s focus is on

different registers of representation. For example, artworld websites and social media

posts necessarily privilege digital access over material exhibition. Here, the group

recognise that display itself is intrinsically technical and operates according to practical

contingencies and ideological frameworks. Accordingly, the group continues to

research the aesthetics of language and politics in the digital age. The group are

in the early stages of a project focusing on the aesthetics of [dis]play and digital

archives with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) giving attention to the poetics

of interruption, the relationship between the archive and its delivery in terms of digital

mediation and performance.



110–111

Crocosmia ×

Clodagh

Emoe

Approaching an Understanding of Place

‘One bench. All my world.’ 1

In September 2018 two public artworks for Crocosmia × were

launched in the TU Dublin campus at Grangegorman and IMMA

(Irish Museum of Modern Art). An intervention of planting Crocosmia

× crocosmiiflora (more commonly known as Montbretia)

to surround tiered concrete steps by the playing fields in TU

Dublin and a metal bench at the edge of the front lawn in IMMA

transformed these once neglected sites into intimate spaces,

for people to sit, gather and meet.

Crocosmia × croscosmiiflora corm found in the garden of Spirasi, 2015.

Photo: Sean Breightaupt

Nine poems written and read by individuals seeking asylum

in Ireland, in their native languages including; Kinyarwanda,

Luganda, Croatian and Urdu were transmitted at the site of

these works. This text begins with the first line from one of the

poems, Vukovar, Croatia by Siniša Končić. For Končić, a citizen

of former Yugoslavia, the small bench is more than a site, it

is the place he goes to find meaning – looking across to the

other side of the river, now a different country, he asks, ‘Different

country, same people/What kind of life is there?/How does

the lilac smell there?’



Senior Infants, D7 Educate Together with Mary Conlon,

Head Gardener, RHK/IMMA, OPW. Photo: Clodagh Emoe

The artworks Crocosmia × were informed by the collaborative project,

The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time (2015–17) and

Crocosmia × (2017–18). This short text reflects on these two projects to approach an

understanding of place not as a site or geographically fixed point, but as a space of

meaning. This understanding of place is proposed by cultural geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. 2

Tuan’s approach is useful when reflecting collaborative and participatory art projects

that bring together the physical activity of gardening with the reflective processes of

poetry because he registers thought and emotion within the experiential continuum.

The brief accounts of The Plurality of Existence… and of Crocosmia × tease out how

by coming together we enacted meaning through our shared aim to open up dialogue

on diversity in Ireland. Focusing on the metaphor of Crocosmia × as a poetic device to

promote inclusion and belonging, I hope to show how we ultimately created intimate

spaces of inclusion and belonging, not just as public artworks but more importantly,

on a conceptual and emotional level through the processes of making these artworks..

The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time

The name Crocosmia was first used for a group of collaborators who

worked with me on a project, The Plurality of Existence… Although gardening was

not the main focus of the project, it laid its foundations enabling me to gradually and

gently introduce myself to the community of Spirasi. Spirasi is situated on the North

Circular Road, across from the entrance of TU Dublin campus, Grangegorman. Spirasi

is Ireland's only non government organisation for survivors of torture. We formed a

group of equal partners by coming together every week and engaging in a common

goal. Over time we created a space where tacit knowledge could flourish. According

to the British Hungarian polymath, Michael Polanyi, tacit knowledge is a series of

skills, ideas and experiences that is not codified or easily expressed as Polanyi states

‘we can know more than we can tell.’ 3 Developing on this Polanyi observes that many

individuals are unaware of the knowledge they possess. This is often the case for

many individuals living within the system of Direct Provision whose agency and sense

of selfworth have been eroded through social exclusion and isolation. For Polanyi,

tacit knowledge is often only revealed in practice and through close involvement

and cooperation. Our coming together at weekly meetings in Spirasi, to work, and

in so doing share stories and ideas gave individuals a new awareness of the value of

their knowledge and their contribution to the project. We formalised our collaboration

with the name Crocosmia. A beautiful, vibrantly coloured wild flower whose corm we

found when gardening. This plant, so ubiquitous in Ireland, is in fact a hybrid of two

Context

Crocosmia × is a cross

cultural, intergenerational

participatory art project

brings poetry and horticulture

together to explore a new

reading of community that

is inclusive and centred

on relations between race

and culture. This project

developed from The Plurality

of Existence in the Infinite

Expanse of Space and Time

(2015–2017) a collaborative

CROCOSMIA × 112–113

African species. While acknowledging that our group had also been uprooted from

their land, the image of these wild flowers growing along the hedgerows in the Irish

landscape offered a gentle and evocative reminder that diversity enhances place.

The Crocosmia collaborators were: Jean-Marie Rukundo Phillemon

(Rwanda), Siniša Končić (former Yugoslavia), Annet Mphahlele (Uganda), Saida Umar

(Pakistan), Peter Rukundo (Rwanda) and Marie Claire Mundi Njong (Cameroon). Our

collaboration was built on support, understanding and trust that encouraged dialogue,

opening up a space for each unique voice within the group to emerge and evolve into

a series of poems that revealed the hidden narratives within our community. The

poems of Crocosmia informed an exhibition, a series of site-specific public artworks

and an anthology of poetry. In foregrounding difference, these poems affirmed the

universality of life by revealing how our emotional experiences are shared. In celebrating

difference we challenged the conception of community that reaffirms the notion

of sameness, advancing a new conception of community that is centred on relations

formed across categories of nation, race and culture.

Crocosmia ×

Crocosmia × evolved in 2017 to open up dialogue about diversity in Ireland

through metaphor. Metaphor has a particular capacity to operate in a non-didactic

way, suggesting and encouraging more explorative forms of thought. The metaphor

of Crocosmia × could raise awareness for diversity in Ireland by gently provoking a

re-examination of received notions of ‘native’ and ‘foreign’. Working with Hallah Farhan

Dawood (Iraq), Ragad Farhan Dawood (Iraq), Papy Kahoya Kasongo (DR Congo),

Fatemeh Bastanalam (Iran), Mohamad Fadaie (Iran), Romeo Kibambe Kitenge (DR of

Congo) we aimed to cultivate Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora as a positive, affirmative

metaphor for diversity in Ireland through participation and exchange. For Crocos-

Papy Kahoya Kasongo with children from D7 Educate Together

preparing artwork for TU Dublin Grangegorman. Photo: Lori Keeve



CROCOSMIA × 114–115

project with individuals

seeking asylum in Ireland.

Crocosmia × aims to cultivate

Crocosmia × croscosmiiflora,

(known as Montbretia) common

to Irish roadsides and

native to South Africa as a

new metaphor for diversity

in Ireland. By involving

the wider community in

the creation of two public

artworks for TU Dublin

Campus Grangegorman and

IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern

Art) the project aims to

question received notions

of what is ‘native’ and what

is ‘foreign’. Introducing

large clusters of these wild

flowers transformed previously

overlooked, neglected sites

into intimate places for

people to sit, gather and

meet. Crocosmia × is located

in TU Dublin by the stepped

area beside the playing

fields and along the edge

of the front lawn of the

main museum building of the

RHK, IMMA. Crocosmia × is

cyclical artwork that comes

to life every year when the

wild flowers bloom. Crocosmia

× was launched in TU Dublin

as part of Culture Night on

Friday 21 September 2018.

The event was launched by

Jacquie Moore, Grangegorman

Public Art Working Group

with Ragad Farhan Dawood

and Paula Quirke, Spirasi,

Charlotte Salter Townsend,

National Botanic Gardens and

readings by Marie Claire

Mundi Njong, Jean-Marie

Rukundo Phillemon and Siniša

Končić. In September 2018

poems written and recited by

individuals seeking asylum

were transmitted above the

artwork.

Collaborators/poets include:

Jean-Marie Rukundo Phillemon,

Siniša Končić, Annet

Mphahlele, Saida Umar, Peter

Rukundo and Marie Claire Mundi

Njong.

Artists/gardeners include:

Hallah Farhan Dawood, Ragad

Farhan Dawood, Papy Kahoya

Kasongo, Fatemeh Bastanalam,

Mohamad Fadaie and Romeo

Kibambe Kitenge.

Associated collaborators:

Andres Mokake, Integration

& Psychosocial Coordinator,

Spirasi Paula Quirke,

Rehabilitation Coordinator,

Spirasi, Derek Bowden,

Grangegorman Estates

mia × we extended our place of work beyond the garden of Spirasi and brought our

creative actions out into the wider community. In seeking to share our metaphor by

including others in the realisation of the artworks we brought people together who

might never have met. Instead of simply purchasing the plants from a garden centre,

we exchanged poems for plants, issuing a call for plant specimens in the Irish Times

newspaper. Gardeners from large garden estates, rural farms, suburban gardens and

inner city backyards responded to our request for plants to include in the public artworks

at TU Dublin Grangegorman and IMMA. In exchange each gardener received

a copy of our anthology The Plurality of Existence… Although time consuming, the

process of collecting plants from gardeners all across Ireland created small intimate

moments for conversations to open up. Coming together with others created momentary

spaces that allowed us to share our metaphor and its meaning. We extended the

dialogue about diversity in Ireland with children and young people by connecting with

local schools; D7 Educate Together Primary School, St. Paul’s Secondary School and

St. Joseph’s Secondary School, developing a series of workshops for senior infants

and transition year students that brought art, poetry and horticulture together. Situating

these physical, creative, reflective activities outside of the classroom positioned

our dialogue in an informal space. More intimate personal accounts seemed to unfold

in this space, so that the concepts of inclusion and belonging that we explored resonated

on a deeper level.

The invitation to uproot our activities from the garden of Spirasi to the

nursery in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham/IMMA from curator Janice Hough and head

gardener Mary Conlon linked the participants and the young people to the most prestigious

cultural institution for modern and contemporary art in Ireland. Mary and her

team worked closely with us and encouraged us to use this official site as if it were

our own, giving the group a sense of ownership of this ambitious project. Although

the participants and many of the young people had never visited this cultural institution,

the welcome that Mary and her team extended instilled in all of us a strong

emotional feeling of inclusion and belonging. Being part of a team instilled the necessary

confidence required to realise two public artworks and participate in the public

launch of the works in IMMA and TU Dublin Grangegorman. On Culture Night, Ragad

Dawood Faran gave a public address at the launch of Crocosmia × in Grangegorman

alongside Jacquie Moore, Deputy Art Advisor, OPW/Public Art Working Group, Paula

Quirke, Spirasi and Charlotte Salter Townsend, National Botanic Gardens. For the

launch in IMMA Papy Kahoya Kasongo gave his public address sharing the podium in

the Museum with Janice Hough, curator IMMA, Leo Walsh, National Botanic Gardens

and Aisling Hearns, Spirasi. In his address he spoke about what the project meant to

him, describing how he extended the project to the community in the Direct Provision

Centre in Mosney. He described how he cultivated the metaphor by bringing a team

of residents together to plant these beautiful hybrid flowers of Africa at the main

entrance of the centre.

The permanent sign beside each artwork in IMMA and Grangegorman

acts as a reminder of the metaphor of Crocosmia ×, a metaphor for diversity that

appears every summer with the blooming of these vibrant hybrid flowers by the bench

on the front lawn of IMMA, the tiered steps on the TU Dublin Grangegorman campus,

on the grounds of Mosney and the local schools in Dublin 7. The names of the main

participants are listed with the artist on these permanent signs. This gesture does

more than acknowledge these individuals’ contribution to the project, it bears witness

to their capacity to enact place in a unfamiliar ‘foreign’ place through their collective,

creative activities. Their noble willingness to involve the wider community in their

project extended this space of inclusion and belonging to others. Like Končić’s bench,

Crocosmia × reminds us that we can approach an understanding of place not just

as a fixed site where the artwork exists, but as a dynamic, experiential space where

concepts of inclusion and belonging were cultivated, explored and felt.

Coordinator, Himzo Kazar,

Grangegorman Estates Gardener,

Mary Conlon, OPW, Head

Gardener of IMMA/RHK and her

gardening team: Derek Doyle,

Therese Thynne and Cathal

O’ Suillivan, Janice Hough,

Assistant Curator: Residency

& Artists' Programmes, IMMA,

Charlotte Salter Townsend,

National Botanic Gardens,

Anna Donnelly, Senior Infants

Year Coordinator, D7 Educate

Together Primary School,

Val Roe, Transition Year

Coordinator, St. Paul’s

Secondary School Brunswick

Street, Siobhan Earley,

Transition Year Coordinator

St Joseph’s Secondary School

Stanhope Street and Terry

Finnegan, AAL Ltd.

Lead artist Clodagh Emoe is

interested in experience,

perception and the

transformative capacity

of art. Her collaborative

projects seek to create spaces

that invite thought and instil

agency. Emoe’s work has been

commissioned both nationally

and internationally;

Serpentine Gallery, London,

Taipei Biennial, Museum of

Contemporary Art, Seoul, Nýló,

Reykjavik, documenta XIII,

Kaisel, Hugh Lane Municipal

Gallery, Project Arts Centre,

IMMA, Visual, Centre for

Contemporary Art and Maynooth

University. She has initiated

multilayered collaborative

projects that include Mystical

Anarchism (2009-2013) with

philosopher Simon Critchley,

Creating the Common/The

Unveiling (2010) a theatrical

event parodying a failed

unveiling of a monumental

sculpture and The Portal

(2019), with playwright Shane

Mac an Bhaird, a play written,

produced and performed by

thirty young girls. Clodagh

has received awards from

the Arts Council of Ireland,

Culture Ireland, Dublin City

Council, South Dublin County

Council, European Cultural

Fund and AHRB, UK. She has

recently been nominated for

the David and Yuko Juda Award

UK.

Grant aided by Dublin City

Council, Community and

Neighbourhood Award Supported

by IMMA and OPW.

Links

www.clodaghemoe.com/

crocosmia-x

Gardeners from throughout Ireland participating

in the project. Photos: Clodagh Emoe

Crocosmia × permanent sign located by the

artwork, TU Dublin campus, Grangegorman.

Photo: Clodagh Emoe

1 Siniša Končić, ‘Vukovar, Croatia’, The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time,

Crocosmia and Clodagh Emoe, Dublin 2017, 27.

2 Tuan, Y. (2001). Space and Place, The Perspective of Experience. 2nd ed. Minneapolis:

Minnesota University Press.

3 Polanyi, M. (2009). The Tacit Dimension. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.4.



Luke McManus

Local resident

Grangegorman

The doorbell rang at 9am on my first Saturday in Grangegorman. The

man at the door was soberly dressed, respectable even. Respectable, but concerned.

‘Hello. I don’t want to worry you. But a plane is going to crash into your

house.’ This was not what I had expected him to say.

‘You don’t need to panic. Probably won’t happen until about 11.’ He did

that wag-gly hand thing to indicate this was an approximation. ‘So you have plenty of

time to get out. And take some of your belongings too.’

‘Bye now’, he said as if to say: if he wasn’t panicked, why should I be? He

walked off up the street towards the North Circular Road, every now and then raising

his arm to point at the sky, as if tracing the trajectory of an incoming jet.

I went back to bed. But as 10.55 became 10.56, I was gripped by a mild but

increasing anxiety. What if, in four minutes times, I died? Immolated in an explosion

of aviation fuel and twisted metal… I couldn’t honestly say that I hadn’t been warned.

And if that happened, my last living thought would be the self-reproach

of someone who had been told exactly what to do to save themselves, but had instead

decided against action, in favour of lying in bed reading a trashy novel.

My watch ticked on to 10.59. OK, I thought. Here we go. Deep breath.

Twenty years later, I’m still happily alive and living in that house. There

isn’t any lesson or moral to this story, except maybe that, sometimes, complacency is

precisely the right strategy.

After that start, my first year in Grangegorman was uneventful. I had

presumed that interacting with people who see the world through a unique, distorting

lens would be a weekly occurrence, but the doorbell remained silent. I’d been living in

the heart of Arbour Hill for the previous three years, and by comparison to the bustle

of Stoneybatter, the new neighbourhood seemed quiet. Eerie even.

The road suddenly widened as you came up the hill, where the decrepit

old prison loomed to the right. You kept coming, past the glum Nurses Home and then

the Murder House where two women had been savagely killed three years previously.

On the left ran St. Brendan’s Mental Hospital, the rundown Victorian granite buildings

giving way to a cheap mess of 1950s medical buildings that looked like a temporary

solution, left to moulder permanently. Then a rusted railing punctuated by tall thin

poplars which gave the upper end of the road the look of a tatty cemetery.

There never seemed to be anyone around. On winter’s evenings the enormous

width of the road was unnervingly dark in the fog. Drivers would step on their

pedal to roar through this uncanny zone.

Even my house was a strange beast – built in the 1980s on a threecornered

site where a terrace of cottages ended and before the high asylum wall

veered in to join the line of the road. Two rooms were narrower at the back than at

the front. There were bars on the windows and the smell of cat lingered. The yard was

a dreary triangle.

The living room and kitchen were upstairs, looking over a wild meadow

and beyond stood a grey building, the kind of gloomy edifice that warrants sudden

illumination by a bolt of lightning. And finally, you could see the stubby top of the

Wellington Testimonial peeping.

It was a suitably odd house for an odd place, a place whose name resonated

with those older than me, a name that always got a reaction.

GRANGEGORMAN 116–117

‘Yer going to Grangegorman?’ said a taxi driver, wheezing, laughing. ‘So

it’s got like that, has it buddy?’

‘Grangegorman? It was the first place I ever worked’ said my aunt, baring

her teeth and inhaling sharply while shaking her head in a characteristic expression

of horror. ‘In the early sixties. It was…awful.’

‘Grangegorman? As in, the murders?’ The murders had been exceptionally

grisly, perfect fodder for the morbid tastes of tabloid newspapers. The police

hadn’t helped – they arrested an innocent suspect for the killings, who subsequently

committed suicide. The real killer was caught eventually, but the neighbourhood still

resounded with a low-level dark energy.

But most people just said ‘Grangegorman? Where exactly is that? Is it

near… Cabinteely?’

Grangegorman was either a locus of suffering and insanity, or a nonplace.

Either way it was a dead zone, a place to be circumnavigated, not entered. A

blank space on the map.

The mechanic at the top of the street has been here for 50 years. He

points at the rusty railing with the grass tangling out through it that marches down

the hill. The railing sits on top of a low wall, about three feet high. ‘I remember when

that wall went all the way up. A old asylum wall high enough to keep in patients. A

fella took over the hospital and decided it was too divisive. That he wasn’t running a

prison. So he knocked it down to that height there.’ The mechanic gestures to his hip.

‘They did a rollcall three weeks later and around a third of the patients

weren’t there anymore’ He cackles. ‘They weren’t too long getting that railing up after

that. Took a bit longer to find all the patients.’

20 years on now. The house had plenty of room to improve, and though

still odd, is no longer drab. The neighbourhood is reinvigorated – Stoneybatter and

Phibsboro are crammed with interesting people of all kinds and the streets of Grangegorman

are now living, with builders, students and locals availing of the open spaces

and the views of the mountains that were previously hidden.

The Nurses Home, the temporary/permanent 1950s buildings and the

Murder House are all gone. Where the latter stood there’s a 1980s flavoured mural

by a street art collective, topped with towering buddleias – the in-house weed of

Dublin dereliction.

And now people say: ‘Grangegorman? It is all change around there, will

be great for the area’.

Sometimes I wonder. Are the somnolent avenues that surround UCD and

DCU interesting, vibrant places to be? What about the introverted fan-lit terraces on

the south side of Pearse Street? All life was sucked from them by Trinity’s remorseless

strategy of acquiring and repurposing them to face inwards, until the street became

an urban Potemkin village.

Maybe it will be different in Grangegorman. TU Dublin are lucky. Lucky

to be moving to where five fascinating places: Broadstone, Phibsboro, Smithfield,

Stoneybatter & Cabra, converge. Lucky that they are creating their home in enlightened

times, where permeability and place-making and community gain are part of

the project brief. Lucky the whole thing ever happened, truth be told, given the Great

Economic Depression around the time it all began.

When you remove people’s privacy by building over their back walls, it is

a deeply invasive act. Sensitivity and respect is key. In the early days of the development,

it seems both were sometimes lacking.

The elegant presence of the new and proposed campus buildings helps

some sensitive architects of note are creating remarkable buildings here, and the

public art that will accompany them will help make the area a more interesting and

creatively vibrant place. I was lucky enough to represent the community in the assessment

of the proposals for the place.



GRANGEGORMAN 118–119

But even now, it seems strange that such a vast site in the heart of such

an overcrowded city district contains no permanent family housing at all, public or

private. No one whose face will eventually become familiar, as life ticks along at the

weekends, in the evenings, in the holidays, noone to add another layer of social fabric

to the Grangegorman quilt.

Instead the plots nearby, where such housing could have gone, have been

snapped up by private student housing and aparthotel developers taking advantage

of tax breaks and planning fast-tracks to maximise profits.

You would wonder how their business model of accommodating international

students for nine months a year and tourists for the other three looks in

the post-pandemic world. Either way, few of those who sleep in these sleek new

buildings are likely to ever become a long-term resident of the area. And maybe that

doesn’t matter…

But the people I know who care most about these streets aren’t checking

into AirBnbs or working on research projects. They have been here for a long time:

some for many decades. The woman across the road who regularly cleans the public

footpath outside her house with boiling water. The woman down the road who carefully

sweeps up the leaves on the street into perfect little piles. The people who can

tell me exactly what is going on on these streets, though I still can’t figure out how

they know. They slip my six year old son ripe bananas and crumpled fivers, despite my

protests. They kept Grangegorman going back in the grim times, when the freezing

fog was thick with coal-smoke.

They still keep it going now.

Luke McManus is a documentary

filmmaker, who lives in

Grangegorman. He has won three

IFTAs, a Celtic Media Award,

the Radharc Award and the Best

Irish Film Award at the Dublin

International Film Festival.

He is an elected community

representative on the Community

Liaison Committee and the

Consultative Group of the

Grangegorman Development

Agency. He was part of the

agency’s Public Art Selection

Panel in 2019 and is also one

of the team who programmes the

annual Stoneybatter Festival.

Community make use of Grangegorman green spaces. Photo: Marie-Louise Halpenny



120–121

What Does

He Need?

To Be Frank photoshoot. Photo: Luca Truffarelli

Fiona Whelan

Brokentalkers

Rialto Youth

Project



WHAT DOES HE NEED? 122–123

What Does He Need? (2018+) is an ongoing project by artist/writer Fiona

Whelan, theatre company Brokentalkers and Rialto Youth Project (RYP), exploring

how men and boys are shaped by and influence the world they live in.

This cross-sectoral, cross-city and cross-community project builds on

an initial collaboration between Whelan, Rialto Youth Project and Brokentalkers in

2016. This resulted in the National History of Hope performance (Project Arts Centre,

2016) as the final public manifestation of a four-year intergenerational project

between Rialto Youth Project and Whelan, exploring contemporary equality issues for

women and girls living and working in Rialto.

Shifting the focus to men, the aim of What Does He Need? is to create

significant public dialogue about the current state of masculinity. In order to

accomplish this ambitious remit, What Does He Need? operates at the intersection

of collaborative arts practice, performance, qualitative research and youth work, situating

the project most recognisably within social practice/socially-engaged art as a

wider internationally-recognised field.

In doing so in an Irish context, the What Does He Need? team (Fiona

Whelan, Rialto Youth Project and Brokentalkers) plays consciously and provocatively

at the often fraught boundaries between participatory and professional theatre and

arts practices, community art, community development and youth work, particularly

as What Does He Need? combines short-term and longitudinal modes of engagement

with participants and publics. What Does He Need? ’s core modes of engagement

include a one-day dialogical workshop aimed at adults and young people and an

eight-week programme for children and young people which holds strong youth work

values, seeking to educate young people in relation to the complexities of their class

and gender position. So far, the What Does He Need? project has plans to further

manifest as an in-progress dance/theatre piece To Be Frank, and planned creative

and pedagogical interactive exhibition, both of these works created in response to

the research gathered in the project.

What Does he Need? workshop. Image courtesy of Create

Brokentalkers’ 2018–2020 Create / Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme

(CAPP) and Grangegorman Development Agency residency, presented the

opportunity to seed the cross city nature of this project. Focusing the residency specifically

on the development of the one day workshop, the What Does He Need? team

engaged with the Children and Youth Action Group of the North West Inner City

Network led by community worker Fidelma Bonass. Through ongoing engagement

and critical reflection with community and youth workers on both sides of the city, the

team recognised the value of the place-based nature of the workshop. This emphasis

harnesses specific local knowledge – exploring how masculinity can develop differently

in different places, and considering how boys and men are shaped by the

Biographies

Brokentalkers are led by coartistic

directors Feidlim

Cannon and Gary Keegan. They

have been described as ‘one

of Ireland’s most fearless

and path-breaking theatre

companies’.

They devise original,

accessible live performance

and explore new forms

that challenge traditional

ideologies of text-based

theatre.

Their working method is founded

on a collaborative process

that draws on the skills and

experiences of a diverse group

of contributors from different

disciplines and backgrounds.

Some are professional artists,

performers, designers and

writers and others are people

who do not usually work in

the theatre but who bring an

authenticity to the work that

is compelling.

Brokentalkers make work that

responds to the contemporary

world, using elements

such as original writing,

dance, classic texts, film,

specific places in which they live, and how they in turn influence them. In the near

future, it is intended that this one day dialogical workshop could arrive in any place,

drawing on a diverse set of knowledges and lived experiences.

The What Does He Need? one-day dialogical workshop operates in two

key ways. One, as an immersive and to some extent theatricalised experience led

presently by Whelan and/or Brokentalkers who take participants through a narrative

journey that starts with the creation of a fictional boy, who is always born into the

place in which the workshop is located. Two, this workshop functions as a research

method for the project team who then archive the boys that are created through this

method and use their learning to continue revising the workshop in its current form.

Over time, it has involved both single-sex and mixed-gender groups of varying ages

and sizes, as the team has explored what differing conditions enable in terms of the

central task.

At the beginning of this workshop, participants meet a boy at birth and

then journey with him as he encounters a series of complex dilemmas at different

stages of his life all the way up to fatherhood. In response to each dilemma, the group

engage in dialogue, discussing the boy’s needs and taking on responsibility for them.

Fiona Whelan, What Does He Need?

Workshop Drawing, 2020

This boy therefore becomes the co-creation of the group, who has been

brought to life explicitly from the perspective of the specific place in which he is made,

drawing on the knowledge and lived experience of those in the room.

The role of the boy’s co-creators are to nurture him and to support him in

collectively confronting crises of empathy and ethics he encounters over the course

of his growing up with sexuality, relationships with women, pornography, violence, and

ultimately, fatherhood, featuring as key themes. The gentle but persistent questioning

of ‘what does he need’ that drives this dialogical workshop forward invites the group

to take ownership of this boy from within their community, but from the remove of

fiction which invites critical distance and opens space for shared interrogation of their

assumptions and/or blind spots.

To date, 13 boys have been created by different groups engaged in one

or other of the projects' two modes of engagment. The makers range from a group of

five year old boys engaged in a long-term programme with RYP, to a mixed gender

adult group based in Dublin 7 who were immersed in a one day experience at Whelan’s

studio in IMMA. The boys created include Luke from Greek Street flats; Finn from

Queen Street flats; Finn, Conor-George and Stevie from Dolphin House and Kroose

from Fatima.

Moving from community centres to theatres to gallery spaces, What

Does He Need?’s iterations engage different types of participants and audiences even

as all of its manifestations centralise the same dialogical, empathetic and searching

interrogation of contemporary masculinity’s complexity. As a project, What Does He



WHAT DOES HE NEED? 124–125

interviews, found materials and

music to represent that world

in performance.

Brokentalkers also work within

the participatory arts sector,

collaborating with communities

to produce works of artistic

excellence as well as providing

quality arts experiences for

participants.

Charlotte McIvor is a Lecturer

in Drama and Theatre Studies

at the National University

of Ireland, Galway. She is

the author of Migration and

Performance in Contemporary

Ireland: Towards A New

Interculturalism and the

co-editor of The Methuen

Companion to Interculturalism

and Performance (with Daphne

P. Lei), Interculturalism

and Performance Now: New

Directions? (with Jason

King), Devised Performance in

Irish Theatre: Histories and

Contemporary Practice (with

Siobhan O’Gorman) and Staging

Intercultural Ireland: Plays

and Practitioner Perspectives

(with Matthew Spangler) and has

published in multiple journals

and edited collections.

She is also a theatre and

creative arts practitioner

whose most recent work is

with NUI Galway’s Active*

Consent programme, for which

she directs the Creative Arts

and Communications Unit. In

2019, she directed and produced

Active* Consent’s inaugural

national third-level theatre

tour of The Kinds of Sex You

Might Have in College, an

original play she co-devised

with students featuring a

company of professional

alumni actors.

Create is the national

development agency for

collaborative arts. Their

mission is to lead the

development of collaborative

arts practice by enabling

artists and communities

to create exceptional

art together. Create do

this through professional

development, mentoring,

project development support,

commissioning and project

opportunities, advocacy and

policy development as well

as research and training.

We also manage the Artist

in the Community Scheme for

the Arts Council. Founded in

1983, Create believes that by

working together, artists and

communities can purposefully

Need? literally workshops group’s and audiences’ ability as place-based communities

to more proactively support the experiences of young men living in their midst

collectively by opening a held space in which to lay bare assumptions and consider

alternative scripts for how each boy’s story might develop over time, against the backdrop

of a range of systemic realities.

What Does He Need?’s ongoing creation of boys ultimately pushes us to

recognise that one frank shared conversation about contemporary masculinity’s challenges

and how to best support boys and men will not be enough, rather, we need to

keep talking and creating and re-imagining our individual and shared answers to the

prompt: ‘what does he need?’ In doing so, What Does He Need? models the sensitivity,

care and mutual ongoing responsibility communities must share for how they nurture

their evolving understanding of what it means to be a young boy or man today, leaving

artistic traces of the team’s ongoing research to guide others on our necessarily ongoing

wider societal interrogation of the lived experience of contemporary masculinity.

What Does He Need? receives advisory support from Professor Kathleen

Lynch (Equality Studies, UCD), Professor Sharon Todd (Education, Maynooth

University) and Sheena Barrett (DCC Arts Office) which has been key to the project’s

development. The project is also supported by Artist/Researcher Susanne Bosch who

is journeying with the project over time to explore the transdisciplinary methodology

at work.

What Does He Need? team with Charlotte McIvor

In the context of Create’s lead role in the European funded Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP),

we were awarded a community-based residency in Dublin 7. Create invited Brokentalkers to engage and

through their existing collaboration with visual artist Fiona Whelan and the Rialto Youth Project. The residency

was expanded to include a focused and in-depth development of transdisciplinary, cross-sectoral practice.

Brokentalkers and Whelan refined their workshop methodology as a central aspect of What Does He Need? –

a significant collaborative project exploring masculinity. Engaging with the CYAG, and CAPP artist, researcher

Susanne Bosch, the residency facilitated local and international exchange. Here, academic Charlotte McIvor

reflects on this rich intersection of artistic and community practice and the cross-city expansion of What Does

He Need? to Dublin 7.

Ailbhe Murphy, Director Create

explore how collaborative arts

engage in distinct, relevant

and powerful ways with the

urgent social, cultural and

political issues of our times.

Dr. Fiona Whelan is a Dublin

based artist, writer and

lecturer at the National

College of Art and Design.

Her art practice is committed

to exploring and responding

to systemic power relations,

most specifically as they

relate to class and gender

inequality. Fiona has a strong

commitment to long-term crosssectoral

collaborations. Since

2004 she has worked closely

with Rialto Youth Project

exploring lived experiences

of systemic inequalities with

young people and adults.

This work typically manifests

as visual, performative or

dialogical encounters in which

multiple power relations are

exposed and interrogated. Since

2016 she has explored the

cross disciplinary potential

of this work with theatre

company Brokentalkers. Her

writing focuses on the complex

relationality, labour and

ethical challenges of this

practice and includes cowriting

with sociologist Kevin

Ryan, in a collective writing

platform ‘Two Fuse’. In 2019,

Fiona received her PhD at the

Centre for Socially Engaged

Practice-Based Research at TU

Dublin. www.fionawhelan.com

The Children & Youth Action

Group (CYAG), North West Inner

City (NWIC) is an inter-agency

network of projects, groups

and agencies who work with

children, young people and

their families. The aim of the

group is to work in partnership

to ensure the interests and

wellbeing of children, young

people and their families.

The work of the group is action

based and involves organising

training and events, lobbying

for enhanced services for

the NWIC and collating and

disseminating information.

We work from a community

development approach, using

creative methods in many

aspects of our work. The CYAG

is the recognised Child &

Family Support Network (CFSN)

for this area.

Links

www.create-ireland.ie

www.fionawhelan.com

www.brokentalkers.ie

www.rialtoyouthproject.net

What Does He Need? workshop with Children & Youth Action Group of the North West Inner City Network.

IMMA studios, April 2019. Photo: Susanne Bosch



126–127

Wear a Bonnet

– Living Art

Installation

Christina

Henri

Hundreds of men, women, and students wear a bonnet for a special photo art installation to remember thousands of women transported

from the Richmond Penitentiary in the 1800s. Photo Damien Eagers. Permission to use RTÉ Nationwide images was given by producer Niall Martin.



WEAR A BONNET – LIVING ART INSTALLATION 128–129

On 3 March 2017 artist Christina Henri held a public

event, Wear a Bonnet – a living art installation in the

shadow of the Clock Tower building in Grangegorman

to remember the 3,215 convict women and their

508 children who were transported from the Grangegorman

depot to Tasmania, then Van Dieman’s Land,

between 1840–1853. The event mirrored a similar occasion

Henri held in Hobart, Tasmania in May 2015, where

these women and children arrived after transportation.

Modelled on ideas from Quaker social reformer Elizabeth

Fry, Grangegorman depot was opened in 1836, the

first exclusively female prison in the British Isles. The

prison’s main function with respect to female convicts

was to provide employment training.

All participants were loaned a bonnet which were typical of those worn

by female servants at the time of transportation. The majority of the bonnets were

made over the past number of years by inmates and staff of the Irish Prison System

and each one represents an individual woman who was transported from Ireland in the

1800’s. Since 2004 Tasmanian artist Christina Henri has used bonnets as symbolism,

highlighting the lives of women and their children transported to Australia from Ireland

and Great Britain. The artist has chosen a cloth bonnet, taken from an original 1860’s

servant’s bonnet, to symbolise the lives of the convict women whose stories have

been shrouded by a veil of amnesia for far too long. As the artist-in-residence at the

World Heritage Site, Cascade Female Factory, Hobart (2003–2015) Henri invited global

participation through the sewing and wearing of heritage bonnets, adorned with the

names of transported women and their children. Since 2010 Henri has visited Ireland

annually involving the Irish in her ‘Roses from the Heart’ project. Each bonnet is hand

stitched with (where known) the women’s name and age on one side, and the name of

the transportation ship with the year the woman left Ireland on. Henri’s ‘Roses From

the Heart’ project has seen the creation of 25,000 bonnets to date around the world.

Local resident Monica takes part in the

commemoration event, 2017. Photo: Lori Keeve

Context

This initiative has been

supported by the GDA, TU

Dublin, The Irish Prison

Service (IPA), the Australian

Embassy, RTE Nationwide, The

Religious Society of Friends

(Quakers) and many arts

and crafts organisations,

historical societies, schools

and museums.

Biography

Dr. Christina Henri is an

artist from Tasmania, the

island State of Australia.

Since 2003 she has been the

honorary artist in residence

at the Cascades Female Factory

Historic Site in Hobart.

Christina uses art as a tool

to give meaning to history.

Her work Roses from the

Heart is a Memorial to the

25,566 women sentenced to

transportation to Australia as

convicts (1788–1853). It has

become a documentary by RTÉ

Nationwide. Henri has a PhD

in Visual & Performing Arts

from Launceston, University

of Tasmania (2011). In 2015

she gave a public lecture:

Grangegorman to Tasmania’

to TU Dublin. See

rosesfromtheheart.tumblr.com

Students from Rathgar (Quaker) Primary School

learned the history of the bonnets before taking

part in the event. Photo: Lori Keeve

The event on 3 March 2017 was documented by RTÉ Nationwide. People

travelled from Australia, Northern Ireland and from across the Republic of Ireland.

Some descendants of the women whose lives were being valued were present. Attendees

included the then Lord Mayor of Dublin, Brendan Carr; Australian Ambassador to

Ireland the Hon. Richard Andrews; Director and Dean, College of Arts & Tourism, TU

Dublin, John O’Connor and GDA CEO Ger Casey. Quakers Roger and Joan Johnson

facilitated a bus load of students from Newtown School, Waterford. Students from

Rathgar Primary School also attended along with pupils from all the schools in the

Grangegorman area.

Participants donned commemorative bonnets

made all over world for the event in Grangegorman,

March 2017. Photo: Lori Keeve



130–131

Anthony

Chang

Robert

Incarceration

Altars

Bernie

Masterson

Mark



I come from a painting background and have worked

extensively with Educational Services to Prisons. My

practice explores the human condition in social, political

and cultural contexts, generating a space to engage

with complex issues, raise questions and promote critical

dialogue. My work is interdisciplinary in nature,

sometimes collaborative, and often deals with challenging

subject matter regarding our responsibilities

as individuals, as communities, and universally. I seek

to find alternative points of view in order to critically

analyse and create new conversations around humanity’s

shared concerns.

In this collaborative exploration with the men from the Mountjoy Prison

Campus, I investigate new perspectives and make us question our assumptions, in

relation to negative stereotypes. My work evolves as a personal response to real-life

stories and situations encountered.

Incarceration Altars investigates the relationship between person, place

and object, through a series of images and prisoners’ narratives to contextualise the

different worlds of prison identity and private identity.

Objects provide links to those identities and are also used to reflect on

other themes such as ‘mourning and memory,’ ‘transition and passage,’ ‘meditation

and new vision,’ and how they serve as a marker in a significant life situation such as

incarceration. The objects become an instrument, a channel of emotional connectedness

to a vast structure of recollection involving thought, feeling and memory. 1

…man’s sentimental attachment to objects is

one of life’s greatest consolations. 2

Warren

Context

Incarceration Altars (2017),

video, film, catalogue was

produced and mediated by Bernie

Masterson in collaboration

with residents from Mountjoy

Prison Campus. The project was

undertaken with the support

of the Irish Prison Service

(IPS) and the City of Dublin

Educational Training Board

(CDETB).

Professionals associated with

production include an essay by

Professor Aislinn O’Donnell,

Maynooth University School of

Education; Eamon Sinnott and

Partners for the catalogue

design and print run; Kieran

Moylan, Principal Officer, Care

& Rehabilitation Directorate,

(IPS); Stephen O Connor,

Organiser of Prison Education

(CDETB).

In 2017, five videos from

Incarceration Altars were

screened in Rathdown House,

TU Dublin. During 2018,

it was screened at LOOP

Festival Barcelona, Spain,

curated by Natalia Foguet

Angela Garcia (Safia Art

Contemporani Barcelona) at

Damer House Gallery, Roscrea,

Co. Tipperary (June), and at

the Irish Prison Education

Association Conference,

Irish Prison Service College,

Portlaoise, Co. Laois. In

2019 it was shown at the

European Prison Education

Association Conference, held

in TU Dublin. Also in August

2019 Incarceration Altars #3

was screened in ‘Irish Short

Reels Series’, Contemporary

Irish Arts Center Los Angeles,

curated by Screen America &

Screen Ireland.

INCARCERATION ALTARS 132–133

Paul

1 Turkle, S. (2011). Evocative Objects: Things We Think With. 2nd ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

2 Pamuk, O. (2012). The Innocence of Objects. New York: Abrams.



INCARCERATION ALTARS 134–135

Primary stakeholders involved

in the new Grangegorman

Campus are the Health Service

Executive, TU Dublin and the

local community. The Mountjoy

Prison Campus is a part of the

local community, built just

25 years after the Richmond

District Hospital (which became

St. Brendan’s Hospital) in

1850; both institutions dealing

with invisible communities.

The Grangegorman community

public arts initiative

increases the visibility

of this disenfranchised

group within that community

while fostering local civic

engagement and inclusiveness.

It embraces multiculturalism

in the development of social

change giving voice to new

and different perspectives

from demographic profiles to

affect positive change and

enhance community cohesion.

In doing so, Incarceration

Altars substantiates the prison

community as an integral

part of the local community

by providing equality of

opportunity where difference

is welcomed and participation

is valued. It facilitates

sharing our communal past and

present experiences through the

creative process, to promote

respect, a sense of pride

and achievement for all of

the participants both within

the said community and with

their partnerships. The aim

of Incarceration Altars is to

recognize the importance of

creativity as a tool for human

development and self-encounter

in the context of prison and

to promote the development

and personal autonomy of the

prisoner as a person within

the local community. It also

provides a platform to make

a comprehensive body of work

that bridges the gap between

previously ‘separate’ art

traditions and digital media,

tested against the ‘real world’

situation of contemporary

practice.

All photos are courtesy of the

artist Bernie Masterson.

Biography

Bernie Masterson was born

in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim,

Northern Ireland, and now

lives and works in Dublin.

Recent exhibitions include:

‘Open Submission Exhibition’

Highlanes Gallery ‘The Janet

Mullarney Prize’ winner 2020

curated by Seán Kissane, Joy

Gerrard and Jerome O Drisceoil,

Officer Julie Heffernan Portlaoise at the IPEA Conference

Dave

Highlanes Gallery Drogheda;

Eva Gore Booth, curated by the

Hamilton Gallery, MoLI Dublin,

(Nov 2019); ‘Irish Short Reels

Series’, Contemporary Irish

Arts Center Los Angeles USA,

(Aug 2019); ‘Nineteen Hundred

and Nineteen’, The Hyde Bridge

Gallery, Sligo and The Irish

Consulate in New York, USA

(Sept-Nov 2019); ‘St. Brigid’s

Day’, curated by Martina

Hamilton, The Hamilton Gallery,

Sligo, 12 Star Gallery, London

(2018); ‘Homeland: Of Memory’,

LOOP Festival, curated by

Angel Garcia and Natalia

Foguet, Safia Art Contemporani,

Barcelona, Spain (Nov 2018,

2019); ‘The Royal Ulster

Academy Annual Exhibition Open’

(2018); ‘Homeland: Of Memory’,

curated by Therry Rudin and

Patricia Hurl, Damer House

Gallery, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

(2018, 2019); ‘Glitch Festival:

Digital Traces’, curated by

Mathew Nevin and Ciara Scanlan

of MART, Rua Red Gallery,

Dublin (May 2017). Masterson is

also a recipient of the Douglas

Hyde Gold Medal (1996) for

painting from the Oireachtas.

Links

www.berniemasterson.com

John

Exhibition Launch, Rathdown House,

Grangegorman Campus, 2017. Photo: Lori Keeve



136–137

The

Masterplan

Jennie Guy

John Beattie

Ella de Búrca

Karl Burke

Naomi Sex

Spoken word opera, Dublin 7 Educate Together, 2016. The conductor guides

the choir’s vocal speed in swinging arm circles, ranking up and grinding down

the pace at which the question is spoken: What is school for? Photo: Louis Haugh

The Masterplan: Re-wilding the Orchard

Between 2016 and 2017, curator Jennie Guy, the Grangegorman Development

Agency (GDA), Dublin 7 Educate Together National School, Technological

University Dublin (TU Dublin) and The Brunner (St. Paul’s CBS Secondary School)

worked together to develop new relationships during a period of major urban redevelopment

in Dublin 7. The collaboration took shape through Art School, a curatorial

project Guy developed in 2014, placing contemporary artists in educational settings

to cultivate sporadic communities of practice-based research. In a piece she wrote

for Transactions 1 , Guy wrote of this project as being one often involving symbiosis,

in which the students and artists are affected by each other. In this way, Art School

offers the possibility for transformation through mutual exposure, a kind of re-wilding.



THE MASTERPLAN 138–139

Grangegorman has a long history of institutional use, including being

the site of an orchard for one of Henry VIII’s deans 2 . In contrast to this monocultural

approach, Guy chose a different gardening style, one that involves building connections,

letting go and tending to the unanticipated. The project was structured with two

beginning nodes, each with a different school and different artists, different agreements

and considerations. From these beginning points, each branched out in its

own way, instigated by the artists’ approaches and engaged by the dynamics of the

student groups. The overall collaboration was titled The Masterplan.

Node I: The Masterplan

Residency with John Beattie and Ella de Búrca and Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Class

students curated by Jennie Guy D7 Educate Together National School, Dublin

April – September 2016.

The first gathering point began in the summer of 2016, between May

and June, when Guy invited artists Ella de Búrca and John Beattie to work with the

fourth, fifth and sixth class students of Dublin 7 Educate Together National School.

At the time the school was housed in prefabricated buildings in Grangegorman Lower,

awaiting its eventual building which would be located within the development site.

The project responded to this context by rooting itself within this transitory state,

seeing its potential for imagining alternatives of what a ‘school’ could be.

Ella de Búrca and John Beattie worked with the students to develop a

sort of operatic parliament based around three central questions:

Students, school staff and families gather to view the screening

of their documentary film work at Lighthouse Cinema,

Smithfield, Dublin 7. Photo: Lori Keeve

What is school for? What was school for?

What will school be for?

Biographies

Jennie Guy is a curator,

artist, writer and educator

based in Dublin. In conjunction

with her independent practice,

Guy is the Manager of the

Artistic Programme and

Operations at Fire Station

Artists’ Studios in Dublin.

She holds a BA in English

literature and History from

Trinity College and an MA in

Visual Arts Practices from the

Institute of Art, Design and

Technology. She is the founder

and director of Art School,

an experimental framework

that explores strategies for

placing artists within sites of

education. Recent curatorial

work includes ‘I Sing the

Body Electric’(2018), an Art

School project developed as

part of EVA International;

the exhibitions ‘It’s Very

New School’ (2017) and ‘Field

Recording’(2018) as curator

in residence at Rua Red Arts

Centre; Artists’ Exercises

(2016), an online platform

for distributing artists’

educational strategies.

One student records another’s answer to one of the questions.

The recordings were edited into a sound work that was then

installed in Rua Red as part of It’s Very New School, 2017.

Photo: Louis Haugh

In addition, Guy regularly

consults, manages and curates

major public art commissions

in Ireland. Recent commissions

curated by Guy include Ruth

Lyons’ Iontaise / Iontas

(2020), Adam Gibney’s Your

Seedling Language (2019) and

David Beattie’s Reflectors

(2019). She is the editor

of Curriculum: Contemporary

Art Goes to School which was

published in the autumn 2020

and will be internationally

distributed by Intellect Books.

John Beattie is a visual artist

originally from Co. Donegal

and is currently based in

Dublin, Ireland. Beattie’s

practice takes the form of

staged productions using still

and moving image. His work

readdresses cultural moments,

objects and events which become

reconfigured and reinterpreted

through his approach. Examples

include PERFORMING NGI.988

(2016), A Line of Enquiry

(2013) and the two-part film

An Artist, The Studio, and all

the rest… (2006–2012). In 2020,

he is an artist in residence at

The Centre Culturel Irlandais

(CCI) Paris, where he will

continue the development of his

work and research on Mondrian

and the Paris Studio.

For the spoken word opera a conductor brought each group into choral

unity, guiding the speed and volume of the chanted questions. When the conductor

jumped the choir broke into a flurry of individual answers to the question, bringing

the multiplicity of perspectives gathered into view.

This process was documented along with a variety of other exercises in

film and script-writing, all exploring multivocality and community, and edited into a

film work which was then screened in the Lighthouse Cinema, accompanied and contextualised

by an essay by Brian Fay. 3 The project became public once again during

the exhibition It’s Very New School 4 in Rua Red, 2017. Here the project was distilled

into the form of a white and floating bookshelf with a series of white books lying face

up, separated by a couple of fingers’ width. On each spine a different answer to one of

the central questions is printed as the title, with serifs underlining their exclamatory

tone with Roman confidence. From underneath, inlaid, a discreet set of speakers play

out the spoken word opera.



THE MASTERPLAN 140–141

Ella de Búrca works through

performance, sculpture and

poetry to focus on how humans

construct meaning, particularly

from a female perspective. She

is especially interested in how

we perform as ‘viewer,’ and the

discourse surrounding active

versus passive experiences. Her

work is usually site-specific

and temporary. She is currently

pursuing a practice-based PhD

at KU Leuven, Belgium. Selected

exhibitions and performances

include: ‘Pirouette,’ The Hugh

Lane Municipal Art Gallery,

Dublin, Ireland, 2019 (solo

performance), ‘Flat As The

Tongue Lies,’ U.C. Irvine,

California, 2018 (solo

show), ‘Post-Peace’ at the

Württembergischer Kunstverein,

Stuttgart, Germany 2017.

Naomi Sex is a Dublin-based

visual artist and lecturer in

Fine Art at TU Dublin.

Removing the wax from the copper plate to uncover the etched drawing.

The nitric acid will have corroded the unprotected areas,

leaving the drawing scratched into the metal surface.

Node II: I’ll be in your camp: Will you be in mine?

Workshop series with Karl Burke and Naomi Sex and Transition Year students

curated by Jennie Guy, St Paul’s CBS and Technological University Dublin (TU

Dublin) September 2016 – April 2017.

The second node of The Masterplan split into two branches that crossed

over and grew in different environments. For this, artists and lecturers at TU Dublin

Grangegorman Karl Burke and Naomi Sex were invited to work with transition year

students from The Brunner, also located in Dublin 7. This phase was titled I'll Be in

Your Camp, Will You Be in Mine and took place first in TU Dublin and then in The

Brunner, having the effect of bringing two communities together who might not have

met otherwise.

In November 2016, students from The Brunner were invited to TU Dublin

to work with Naomi Sex to get experience with traditional printing techniques whose

method has carried on to this day in the production of microelectronics. They learned

the process of etching – a process that involves inscribing wax-coated copper plates,

exposing these plates to nitric acid, removing the wax, allowing the ink settle into

the corroded scratches and then using a large hand-cranked press to print the inksoaked

topography. Having access to these tools and to this tuition opened up the

possibility of learning this precise craft and of gaining new insight into the labour of

image reproduction before our current era of internet excess.

In April 2017, Karl Burke went to visit the students at their school and

delivered a set of classes in sculpture. He introduced the students to the One Minute

Sculptures of Erwin Wurm, whose sculptural practice involves working through poses

in which either he or his models engage with objects in odd and unexpected ways,

producing encounters with these objects that are otherworldly. Burke challenged his

students to come up with their own One Minute Sculptures, reimagining their relationships

with objects and with each other. In another class Burke asked them to redefine

their classroom by marking out spaces using the furniture at hand and the mark-making

capacity of electrical tape. The students built and marked out fort-like structures

and futuristic bridges and took part in group critiques where they learned the skills

of presenting and giving constructive feedback. Each guided the others through their

processes, the turns the structures took and the difficulties encountered – one student

remarked that it was difficult to know when to stop.

Usually a masterplan invokes the idea of a centralised and aloof genius,

predicting events and interactions like a rational oracle with spreadsheets, maps and

She writes scripts and works

with actors and minimal

scenographic elements to

produce understated theatrical

gallery-based events. In

2016, she produced a touring

performance entitled Cheek By

Jowl which was awarded The Arts

Council Visual Arts Touring

and Dissemination Award and

The Fingal County Council

Artist’s Work Scheme. Other

works include the curatorial

project ‘6iX Degrees’(2014)

at IMMA and the performative

event ‘The Synchronised Letter

Series’(2013) which featured

in nine key Irish educational

institutions simultaneously.

Karl Burke is an artist,

musician and lecturer in Fine

Art at TU Dublin. Interested

in exploring the poetics of

space, Burke creates schematic

architectural environments that

probe issues such as proportion,

transparency and delineation

using simple material such as

wood and box steel. Burke’s

sculptures, spare and elegant,

often incorporate a single

module that is presented in

different aspects. There is an

experimental, even, playful

attitude in the work. His

pieces partner the space in

which they are shown to unlock

a choreography of possibilities

about interior space, both

actual and metaphorical, and

how it’s is constructed and

encountered.

Fiona Gannon is an artist,

writer and researcher living

in Dublin. She graduated with

a BA in Visual Arts Practice

from the Institute of Art,

Design and Technology in 2013.

She worked as a Research and

Communications intern at Studio

Olafur Eliasson until autumn

2014 and completed her MA in

Art and Research Collaboration

from the Institute of Art,

Design and Technology in

2016. Since graduating, she

has written for publications

such as Paper Visual Art, Art

Monthly and Critical Bastards,

and has been focused on

research around posthumanism

and infrastructure. Recent work

includes Into the Dark with

the Light On (2017) published

by arc public press, and I

Sí (2018), performed in the

Phoenix Park with collaborator

Liliane Puthod.

Links

www.jennieguy.com

www.artschool.ie

diagrams – however, this project wasn’t top-down in its approach, more like sideways

and stir crazy. Established art practices were brought into contact with both

children and irreverent teenagers – the classroom was extruded into uncertain and

new terrain. Students from both The Brunner and Dublin 7 Educate Together found

themselves thinking through processes that were both odd and quite specialised

that the usual curriculum might not have opened up. This gives the students another

set of lenses for viewing the world around them. Ambiguity is not often lingered on

in problem-solving school time but it might be the most useful zone for orientation

during times of uncertainty and flux, times when looking at things obliquely becomes

necessary to gain new footing.

Jennie Guy and Fiona Gannon

Discussions of Erwin Wurm’s sculpture series with students led to students making their own variations of the work.

A One Minute Sculpture performed by one of the transition year students of The Brunner. Poured for one minute,

the volumetric relationship between two kettles is made apparent and almost solid in vivid blue.

1 Guy, J. (2016). How People Come Up With Ideas, Transactions #2 Field and Academy: Knowledge and Counterknowledge

in Socially Engaged Art, 19–20.The piece examined practice and potential in the field of contemporary

art, drawing different perspectives from artists, academics, educators and other arts professionals. Available

online at transactionspublication.com.

2 King Moylan, T. (1945). The District of Grangegorman (Part III). Dublin Historical Record, 7(3), 103.

3 Brian Fay is an artist and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Technical University Dublin.

4 It’s Very New School’ is an exhibition that took place in 2017 at Rua Red Arts Centre, Co. Dublin. The exhibition

was curated by Jennie Guy, and featured work from artists John Beattie, Sarah Browne, Ella de Búrca, Priscila

Fernandes, Mark O’Kelly, Maria McKinney and Sarah Pierce. The majority of these works drew from Art School

workshops and residencies that these artists had been involved in.



142–143

Installation on Constitution Hill, October 2018, House Visit 1

House Visit 4

Home On

The Grange

Emmett Scanlon

Aisling McCoy

Paul Guinan



We visited many homes in the Grangegorman Neighbourhood for this

project. It is a socially diverse part of the city, with a range of building types, home to

a variety of people. As a trio – an architect, a photographer and a graphic designer

– we worked in collaboration with the inhabitant-participants we encountered. We

made work for and with them, gathering their stories as we went, taking photographs,

printing papers, singing songs about home.

Our aim was to probe our common understanding of architecture. Architects

are, of course, the creative professionals typically charged with making the

building designs in our built environment. Architects design schools, hospitals, theatres,

even housing. But while architects are experts in some aspects of architecture

they do not exclusively own architecture – architecture belongs to all. Someone else

may have designed the building you live in and the rooms you use, but once inside,

your architecture work begins. In fact, the main products of architects – the buildings

and rooms within them – remain inert and static unless people occupy and use

them. So, no matter how brilliant the original design, no matter how many awards that

building won, or how long ago the rooms were built, houses need people. Home on the

Grange wished to acknowledge and reveal the creative work done by people in their

homes and to return such work the discourse of public art and architecture.

Home and the desire for one, is something we have in common. How

we make a home does seem to vary though depending on our age, gender, ethnicity,

ideology, and economic capacity. This means our homes are as individual as we are.

If an identical row of houses looks the same, you can be sure, once inside, things are

radically different. While each interior we visited had consistencies, as we lingered, we

started to see physical and spatial evidence of lives-lived and personalities formed

through space, over time and across generations. Homes and how people assemble

and create them within the physical built shell they occupy never fail to surprise; they

are each exotic and eccentric, personal and particular.

As we sat down, swirling around all of us, inside and out, was a national

discussion on housing and homelessness. Often, such discourse is binary. Positions

are taken – you must be for or against public housing; you are on the left or right;

want tall buildings or not and so on. This tendency toward the binary breeds assumptions

about people and their homes, but these were undermined by our time spent in

Grangegorman.

The first to be undermined was the notion that one could say that certain

communities of people are fixed and stable; that it is possible to point and say, yes,

that is both who and what they are depending on what form of housing they occupy.

People who live in leafy suburbs are more or less the same; people who live in public

housing in the city centre are together for a reason, and so on. This position simply

builds prejudice and feeds the production of housing. Once a community is labelled, a

lifestyle which can be marketed and commodified through built form is not far behind.

The second notion that was clearly untrue is that people today are now

so very individual that, really, they do not have much in common at all. Within a pair

of homes divided by just a 250 mm thick wall very different lives are being lived. Many

neighbours are only that in principle but not in practice. People live beside each other

but never meet or talk, nor do they wish to. Individuals seem concerned only with

themselves. Community, like it was in the good old days, is gone.

If you sit down and talk to people, they rarely talk about their own home

in binary, absolute terms. As we met people, each tended to talk about how their

home is the place from which they both step in to and out of the world. This seemed

consistent, regardless of how individuals have secured their house or apartment or

how they believe houses or apartments should be provided for others.

When you talk to people about their home, what you find is that the

individual experience of home is certainly framed by the physical and material form

around it – be it an apartment, a house, a shed or just one room – but a home’s existence

is sustained by the people within it and who move through it.

Context

Home on the Grange is a

community-based public art

project exploring aspects of

homes and how people live in

the Grangegorman neighbourhood.

Specifically the project

acknowledges homemaking as

a creative act and Home on

the Grange aims to harness

this latent creativity of

local inhabitant-participants

to explore individual and

collective domestic identities

in Grangegorman.

Home on the Grange, by Emmett

Scanlon, Aisling McCoy and in

collaboration with Paul Guinan,

explores aspects of the entire

Grangegorman neighbourhood by

focusing on something we have

in common – the need for a

place to make home. The artists

and inhabitant-participants

developed the work in tandem

using visual, textual and

graphical means.

This was a process-led public

art project which evolved

and developed over time and

in collaboration with the

artists and participants.

During the course of the house

visits, two publications were

produced containing drawings,

photographs and stories.

The aim was to return this

work to the inhabitants of

Grangegorman as the work

proceeded. A concert was held,

Songs About Home. Aisling McCoy

photographed all homes visited,

generating a substantial

record of lives lived in the

area. This work was put on

public display in five site

specific installations across

Grangegorman in October 2018 to

conclude the project.

Biographies

Emmett Scanlon is an architect.

His work is concerned with the

relationship between people

and buildings and the role

and purpose and impact of

architecture on our everyday

lives. His practice ranges

across building and spatial

design, public art, exhibition

making and curation, research,

teaching and writing. In

2018 he was Assistant to the

Curators, Shelley McNamara and

Yvonne Farrell, for FREESPACE,

the 16 th International

Architecture Exhibition,

Venice. He is Assistant

Professor at UCD School of

Architecture.

HOME ON THE GRANGE 144–145

The life of a home is nourished by the physical objects of family and

memory that act as a kind of supporting cast in our everyday domestic dramas; a

home is enriched by the difference found in the relationships we make in the outside

world; a home is the place, from which, amid noise, and confusion and mess, emerges

our confidence to go forth, to set out, to head back.

When you ask someone ‘why do you want a home?’ or ‘what does a home

mean to you?’, people tend to focus less on the object of the house itself but on the

opportunity having a home provides for them or for their family. But we rarely give

air time to a discussion about opportunity. We fail to remember that an opportunity

to participate is fundamental to the assembly and the social sustainability of our

communities.

During Home on the Grange we saw this opportunity in action. We saw

people imagine home as a place to build from scratch, from the ground up. A home,

through the action of its’ making and its physical and material reality became a transient

trace for a temporary collective. It was also a tangible, permanent record of

a collective political philosophy in the form of a squat. Others saw their home in

the adjacent, forgotten spaces that they found and appropriated beside their homehome,

turning a disused pram-shed into a place of industry and local gathering. Such

acts afford a young man the chance to step out and step up, into the centre of his

family and community and, in a sense, out into that city that someday awaits all young

men beyond the doorstep. Others found a brand new home in this welcoming city.

In conversation they recalled, in a tone of voice so giddy with excitement, that their

house, their home, is now close to parks where it is possible for them to walk freely

in the company of dogs.

House Visit 3



HOME ON THE GRANGE 146–147

House Visit 5

relationships between the Irish

and their houses, at the TU

Braunschweig, in Germany.

Aisling McCoy is an Irish

visual artist whose work looks

at how we inhabit space. Her

background as an architect

is central to her practice,

which investigates the

conflict between architecture

as an intellectual concept,

created through images, and

its translation into built

form. She’s particularly

interested in the ideological

aspect of inhabitation and the

role of both architecture and

photography in constructing

the ideal. A graduate of the

MFA Photography programme

at the Belfast School of

Art, Aisling’s work has been

exhibited internationally.

She is the recipient of the

Arts Council of Ireland Next

Generation Award, TBG+S

Project Studio Award, Belfast

Exposed Futures and Institut

Français Cité Internationale

des Arts Residency Award. She

has been a selected artist at

PhotoIreland New Irish Works

and Circulations Festival de

la Jeune Photographie, has

been shortlisted for the

Kassel Photobook Festival Dummy

Award and nominated for the

Prix Pictet.

One week, a few days apart, two homemakers, who on a television talk

show would be seated left and right, such is our desire to put people in their houseboxes,

invited me outside to look at their world as viewed from their terraces. Both

talked about how they understood their home is only a small part of a wider builtplace,

a built-place they feel a need to protect and sustain for themselves, for others

and for strangers. Their home is a dynamic, moving thing, not an object to be pinned

down or possessed but something that is, among their best allies in their everyday

negotiations with the world and the people inside and outside your walls. Homes not

so much territorially on, but generously for, the Grange.

Emmett Scanlon

He is Architectural Advisor to

the Arts Council and is both

an advocate for opportunities

and supports for architects

to develop their creative

practices and to access work

and for greater inclusion of

all people in discussions and

processes of architecture

design, production and use.

Emmett is currently completing

his PhD by research, entitled,

What Do Houses Do All Day,

a study into the some

Paul Guinan is an Irish

graphic designer. He

works with a network of

clients and collaborators

on typographically-led

communication, identity,

exhibition and interface design

projects. He was a co-founder

of SET Collective (2013–2015),

a group exploring the role

of architecture in cinema

through self-publishing and

screening events. SET was part

of the travelling Archizines

exhibition, now housed in the

National Art Library at the

Victoria & Albert Museum.

Since 2015 he has worked with

FRANC, an independent journal

mixing fashion editorial with

literary content. FRANC has

been awarded entry to the 100

Archive, an annual initiative

recognising the best of Irish

communication design. He is the

owner-operator of Sunday Books,

an online shop specialising in

publications related to visual

culture and critical theory.

Links

www.emmettscanlon.ie

www.aislingmccoy.com

www.paulguinan.com

House Visit 2



148–149

Aughrim – Barley, tea, seed, whiskey. Image: Clare Anne O’Keefe

Grown

Home

Clare Anne O’Keefe

Hilary Murray



GROWN HOME 150–151

Grown Home is a digital cabinet of curiosity that captures

the culinary folklore of Dublin 7 by documenting

food habits, ways and rituals. Grangegorman/Stoneybatter

is a vibrant and diverse area, deeply connected

to its food-producing and market histories, it is also

quickly evolving to embrace new culinary cultures. In

Grown Home this urban village is viewed through a

culinary lens and contextualised by prescient cultural,

architectural, historical, and geographical pathways.

Grown Home takes the prosaic act of ingestion out of the cafes, kitchens

and streets of Dublin 7 and places it within the Art context asking how ‘…the lives we

live’ are influenced by what we ingest. As food memories are recalled, recipes shared

and fare tasted the similarities of consumption are emphasised and the differences

of varied food systems celebrated.

Grown Home employs a cyclical methodology of SEED BANK CULTIVATE.

SEED by gathering the Dublin 7 residents response to Grown Home participatory and

interactive food instillations, BANK by sifting and sorting the visual, verbal and gustatory

data, preserving it in an accessible digital repository and CULTIVATE by creating

synergistic food-art responses to the community testimony. These photographs of

food are rarely just about food: they hold up a mirror to intimate lives. Photographing

food is ubiquitous in today’s society but placing this familiar practice in an Art framework

raises deep-seated questions around ideas of family, tradition, class, gender,

race, health, pleasure, and disgust.

Grown Home embraces the interplay of food and the digital format using

social media and food art interactions to engage the Stoneybatter/Grangegorman

community while also disseminating this data to the larger digital community. Curating

the culinary responses and documenting the interactions within an online platform

connects the ephemeral nature of ingestion and social media with the enduring substance

of culinary folklore and digital footprints.

Grown Home has invited the Dublin 7 community to engage and direct

this culinary investigation by creating participatory and interactive installations during

Stoneybatter Pride of Place events large and small. The residents and visitors to

Dublin 7 have tasted, shared, remembered, journaled, considered and imagined while

tasting, mixing, cooking and talking with us. This community of eaters has shaped the

artwork and continue to direct Grown Home. Thank you to all these culinary artists.

Make a Salad

#stoneybatterfestival #GROWNHOME

#FLUXUS #Alison Knowles #foodart #digitalart

#grangegorman #communityart #cityvillage

#prideofplace #globalirish #tudublin

#instructionbasedart #digitalresilience

#theliveswelive #grangegormanpublicart

#revealinggrangegorman #creativeireland

#irishpublicart

Green tea, Dublin 7 Honey, Oat Milk,

Pumpkin Praline, Cocoa Paste

#GHstock #icepop #oxmantown

#culturenight2018 #GROWNHOME

#foodart #digitalart #stoneybatter

#grangegorman #communityart #cityvillage

#prideofplace #globalirish #tudublin

#instructionbasedart #digitalresilience

#theliveswelive #grangegormanpublicart

#revealinggrangegorman #creativeireland

#irishpublicart

EAFP Granola

Honey drenched oats mixed with insectpollinated

fruits and flowers directly inspired by

Equality for all Pollinators

#stoneybatterfestival #GHkitchen #granola

#equalityforallpollinators #doubleexposure

#GROWNHOME #foodart #digitalart

#stoneybatter #grangegorman #communityart

#cityvillage

Maple Leaf Fritters

#leafybatter #GROWNHOME #TURF

#digitalart #stoneybatter #grangegorman

#foodart #imovie #foragedfood #freefood

#japeneseirish #globalirish #tudublin

#mapleleaves

Gaze

#GHGaze #press #oxmantown

#backofthecupboard #GROWNHOME #foodart

#digitalart #stoneybatter #grangegorman

#communityart #cityvillage #prideofplace

#globalirish #tudublin #instructionbasedart

#stayconnected #isolationart #digitalresilience

#theliveswelive #grangegormanpublicart

#revealinggrangegorman #creativeireland

#irishpublicart



GROWN HOME 152–153

Biographies

Clare Anne O’Keefe is a

food designer and member

of the Irish Food Writers

Guild. She is the creator of

collaborative food and drinks

events set within an Arts

context including a series

of interactive dinners for

Dublin’s Science Gallery. Other

collaborations include PROBE,

(TCD), where she developed

a cooking demo of insect

pollinated dishes with Dr. Jane

Stout, Art Meat Flesh at the

Smock Alley Theatre with Oran

Catts and Centre for Genomic

Gastronomy, The Subnatural and

Monto with Bridget O’Gorman and

Climate Change Curated Dinner

with Dr. Shaun O’Boyle. Clare

Anne was a co-curator of the

Lunchbox series of workshops

and performances at ArtBox

Gallery. She has spoken at

universities, food festivals

and symposiums and has

appeared on both RTÉ radio and

television. She is currently

working on a project involving

culinary memory and the Irish

Diaspora.

Context

From 2017–2020 Grown Home

participated in a wide number

of local events in the

Grangegorman neighbouhood.

These include; the Stoneybatter

Pride of Place Committee/

Stoneybatter Festival;

Grown Home kitchen on the

25 June 2017 as part of the

Stoneybatter Festival, Manor

Street; Grown Home stock on

19 September 2018 as part

of Culture Night in Rathdown

House, Grangegorman Campus,TU

Dublin; Grown Home yard on

23 June 2019 in the GIY

area, Manor Street and Grown

Home salon on 20 Sep 2019 on

Grangegorman Campus, TU Dublin.

Associated professionals –

Seaneen Sullivan, Bord Fáilte

Food Ambassador and Brian

Clarke – Digital Photographer.

All images courtesy of Clare

Anne O’Keefe.

These leaves are a little different

in Japan but it makes me comforted to see

them here on the campus. They are salt

preserved first where I am from Minoh,

Osaka but I can make them without salting.

Rin, 31

Dr. Hilary Murray works

in liminal research and

communications, has a PhD in

Neuroscience and an MA in

Contemporary Art Practice.

After spending time in Palo

Alto’s Cantor Arts Centre,

she worked in the Collections

department at The Irish

Museum of Modern Art before

becoming the RUA RED Curator in

Residence. Dr. Murray directed

and curated ArtBox Gallery in

Dublin’s North in City (MONTO).

The gallery’s focus is new

media and explorative researchbased

work as well as academic

interaction shows including The

Anti-Room, DEMOCRACY (a series

of performance events), and

Fiona Marron, PROVING GROUND in

association with the UCD Art in

Science Residency and off-site

projects include Intelligent

Machinery at Farmleigh, Dublin

and Attitude Precedes Form with

Black Church Print Studio at

the Library Project. ArtBox is

now in a digital iteration. Dr.

Murray is based at The Insight

Centre, Dublin.

Links

Grown Home is a live and

evolving net-art work,

collaborating with Dublin 7

residents, documented by an

Instagram stream. Please engage

@gdagrownhome.

I try to be healthy but convenience

is key for me. My girlfriend loves green tea

and I like a beer. My neighbour Lukas got me

into the hot sauce, he is Lithuanian but mad

into Thai. I don't even remember buying

the custard powder.

Iain, Oxmantown Road



154–155

NatureRx

Kaethe

Burt-O’Dea,

Bí Urban

Bumble Bee Monitoring in Lifeline Territory – Recording species in an abandoned field on the

Royal Canal at Broombridge which is home to a diverse range of pollinating insects.Photo: Kaethe Burt-O’Dea



NATURERX 156–157

A Green Prescription for North Central Dublin

The Lifeline is a community-led project based in North

Central Dublin (NCD), advocating the importance of

nature to our health and wellbeing. The final goal is

to establish a territory dedicated to environmental

regeneration that will connect the Botanic Gardens

with the Liffey, creating a ribbon of biodiversity and fertile

ground for social innovation, green enterprise and

nature-based solutions.

Background

In 2007, the Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) held a series of

public consultations to inform the Masterplan for the new TU Dublin & HSE campus

on the derelict St. Brendan’s Hospital site. The hospital was originally designed as an

asylum for the vulnerable, set in a carefully considered landscape, promoting nature

as therapy. This history became more complex as care models for the mentally ill

evolved and the use of psychiatry and chemical based treatments took precedence.

The potential of this fascinating wild landscape, abundant with biodiversity, sparked

the imagination of Stoneybatter resident Kaethe Burt-O’Dea.

Kaethe used the consultations to document needs expressed by the

community for pocket parks, sensory gardens, local food production, a car free campus

with areas devoted to outdoor exercise and opportunities for life-long learning.

An opportunity to combine both public and private needs in the development of a sustainable

exemplar emerged. Unfortunately, the demands of the building programme

made it impossible to accommodate this grand vision within the confines of the site.

The Lifeline

It was the critical need to provide public transportation to the campus

that led us to rediscover the disused Great Midwestern Railway (GMWR). This wasteland

opened up exciting potential to the community. We could develop the public

amenity we dreamed of, one that would combine green infrastructure with an intermodal

transportation and a living laboratory where TU Dublin could study the benefits

of nature in the city, a Lifeline for NCD.

During 50 years of rewilding, the cutting had spontaneously developed

an extraordinary array of environmental services for the city. It had slowly evolved into

an ecological corridor hosting species rarely found in urban environments, filtering air,

composting waste, diverting run-off and purifying water.

The Lifeline will preserve and build on what

nature had developed.

In 2009, Kaethe presented the Lifeline to TU Dublin Sustainable Development

students which launched a programme of multidisciplinary research under the

Students Learning with Communities Programme (SLWC), led by Dr. Catherine Bates.

A two-year study of the natural assets was conducted along the GMWR cutting with

Ecologist Mary Tubridy to argue for the preservation of this stretch of rare urban biodiversity.

50 Architecture Students produced plans to incorporate the community’s

vision into the territory. The Lifeline was presented at several international conferences.

‘Introducing the Lifeline (Dublin, 2010), a public seminar held in collaboration

with TU Dublin, the GDA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Dublin City Council

and Transport for Ireland (TFI), attracted over 100 participants.

In 2013, the GMWR cutting was transferred to TFI for the Luas Cross City

to provide essential public transportation. Having conducted an in-depth analysis of

this unique inner-city landscape, we were acutely aware of what had been lost to the

NCD community.

Building the Community

Despite this set back, our commitment to establish a partnership with

nature in the city remained strong. In the same year the Lifeline won a Guinness Projects

Award, providing business training and funding to set up a limited company. We

also began beekeeping and became intrigued by their organisational strategies and

consensus decision making. We wondered if these processes could be used to guide

public participation in urban design and planning.

In 2015, we hosted an International Action Science Workshop at TU

Dublin to develop a new direction for the project. The two-day workshop partnered

beekeepers with artists, academics, professionals, social workers, and NCD residents

to examine the question: ‘Are Bees leading us toward responsible urban design and

health in our cities?’

Three important outcomes emerged from this workshop:

- A new site for the Lifeline – The former Royal Canal route from Broombridge

into Broadstone though Blessington Basin.

- Bí URBAN – A nature-based social enterprise and hub dedicated to

community led development of the Lifeline in Stoneybatter, NCD. The

studio accommodates a shop, workshop & exhibition space, resource

library, and product development lab. Since its opening in 2016 Bí

URBAN has become a fertile ground for social innovation, green

enterprise and nature-based solutions.

- NatureRX – With the support of GDA ‘…the lives we live’ Grangegorman

Public Art, we developed a programme which engages the public

in the Lifeline. NatureRX workshops invite the NCD community to use

creative processes to explore, map and document their personal connection

with nature in the city.

2020 Vision

One positive outcome of COVID-19 has been the reawakening of our relationship

with the natural world and its importance to community health and wellbeing.

The pandemic has asked us to revisit the utopian model of nature as cure which

originally shaped the St. Brendan’s Hospital site. The initial two kilometre movement

restrictions were comparable to the foraging radius of a honeybee from its colony.

Similar to the bees, urban residents developed expert knowledge of their local green

spaces and the sanctuary they offer.

We are all citizen scientists in a global action research project. Health is

the subject, the community our lab and human behaviour the instrument. Our relationship

with nature is intrinsic to the solution.



NATURERX

158–159

Bí Urban Bee Stewardship Workshop Series – Natural Beekeeping

with Tanguy de Toulgëot of Dunmore Country School. Photo: Kaethe Burt-O’Dea

Biography

Nestled in the heart of

Stoneybatter, Bí URBAN is a

unique creative studio, founded

by artist environmentalist and

healthcare design consultant

Kaethe Burt-O’Dea. Kaethe has

won numerous awards including a

TU Dublin Community Fellowship

and an RIBA Award.

More recently her work was

recognised by Diageo when

she won the Arthur Guinness

Projects Award for the

LIFELINE, a ‘living laboratory’

exploring the collaborative

regeneration of the urban

environment with community

health and public engagement

as a central tenet. In 2016

she established Bí URBAN, a

studio for social creativity,

prominently positioned on the

main street of Stoneybatter

to act as a hub for the

development of this project.

TU Dublin is Ireland’s centre of excellence for community based learning.

The Grangegorman Project is linking education with healthcare on a single site, creating

the perfect environment for restructuring urban design and planning strategies.

Now that we have established our studio, community and network, we ask you to

partner with us as we map and activate the Lifeline, a living laboratory where we can

prototype, evaluate and construct a sustainable future.

The Bí Team

Understanding and nurturing biodiversity

is as essential to the physical and mental health

of inner-city residents as it is to the future of

our pollinators.

Work-life balance and its impact on climate is a key element in the study.

How we learn, socialise, travel, shop, care for each other, everything we do is under

scrutiny including the function and meaning of employment itself. Connecting nature,

people and place is being prioritised by local authorities who are making rapid infrastructural

changes to facilitate walking and cycling, demonstrating that change is

possible, and at a faster pace than we previously believed. The outdoors has become

our classroom.

The Lifeline is a think tank where individuals and groups explore these

issues and trial solutions through local action. Bí Urban is its hub, run by a collective of

volunteers and collaborators. Skills are shared and all contributors have value, whatever

their background or discipline. Everyone has an essential role to play in how we

want to live in cities going forward.

Bí URBAN represents the next

stage of an ambitious strategy

to build the LIFELINE, an

outdoor classroom devoted to

the study of nature in the

inner city that will connect

the Botanic Gardens to Phoenix

Park, creating a ribbon of

biodiversity and fertile ground

for social innovation, green

enterprise and nature-based

solutions.

Many incredible people,

businesses and organisations

have generously contributed

time, expertise and financial

support to Lifeline. It is

impossible to thank everyone

indi vidually here. We would

like to use this special

opportunity to publicly

acknowledge the Grangegorman

Development Agency as a

catalyst for our vision, TU

Dublin Stu dents Learning

With Communities Programme

for facilitating an exciting

programme of multidisciplinary

research, and North Central

Dublin for embracing our

ambition.

Links

www.biurban.ie

biurbanstudios@gmail.com

Instagram:@bi_urban_desireland

NatureRX Natural Treasure Jewellery Workshop in progress. Participants

are introduced to the folklore and medicinal properties of local plant

species and immortalise them in precious metal. Photo: Kaethe Burt-O’Dea



160–161

Judith Mok takes centre stage for an operatic solo.

Photo: Lori Keeve

1916: A

Revolutionary

Cabaret!

Judith Mok

A full house for the one-off cabaret event in St. Laurence’s Church,

10th April 2017. Photo: Lori Keeve



1916: A REVOLUTIONARY CABARET! 162–163

Context

1916: A Revolutionary Cabaret!

took place in St. Laurence’s

Chapel on 10th April 2017.

Event Management; Sara

O’Loughlin. Artwork;

Moses Rowen.

Biographies

Judith Mok is the originator

of 1916: A Revolution Cabaret!

She was born in Bergen in the

Netherlands. After graduating

at the Royal Conservatory in

the Hague, Mok won French and

Dutch State Grants to study in

Vienna under Christa Ludwig and

her mother Eugenia. In Paris

she studied French repertoire

with Pierre Bernac and Noemie

Perugia. She worked for 11

years part time in Argentina

performing at the Teatro Colón

and extensively touring the

country. Judith was awarded

a knighthood by HRH Queen

Beatrix for her work in the

arts. With a versatile group

of solo musicians she has given

recitals with Sephardic Music.

Appearances in Paris, Dublin

and Istanbul Cultural Capital

together with santour virtuoso

Javid Afsari Rad have have been

recorded by German NDR, Turkish

and Irish television. Recently

she founded an ensemble’ Los

Queridos’ with Sephardic music

at its core, with Iranian

brothers Koshravesh in Dublin

and Paris. In the context of

her Irish residence Judith Mok

Over the course of last year, 2016, the Easter Rising in

Ireland in 1916 was very much on everyone’s mind. As

a poet myself, I was fascinated by the idea of a Rising

led by poets. They weren’t very good poets, but they

were poets all the same. And so, I started wondering

what the contemporaries of MacDonagh, Pearse and

Plunkett were doing on that actual day in 1916 when

the Rising started. As we know, their Irish contemporaries,

like Tom Kettle and Francis Ledwidge were wearing

khaki uniforms and fighting in the trenches in Europe.

The more I looked into it, the more I realised that this

was true of many of their contemporaries, some of the

greatest poets of the 20 th century in any language, were

wearing the uniforms of the French, Austrian, Italian,

German and Russian armies.

But then we realised that in 1916 there was a revolution going on in

poetry, in music in the visual arts and eventually on the streets too, reaching its climax

with the Russian revolution of 1917. It seemed a good idea to us to commemorate

this, because what was happening in places like Zurich, where on the very night of the

Rising you had Hugo Ball going on stage in the Cafe Voltaire and performing sound

poems, which would form the basis of Dada, a movement which would prefigure our

present Postmodernism. All over Europe these movements were exploding into being:

Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism.

These European movements are our heritage. They are as much part of

our inheritance as much as what happened in the GPO on Easter Monday. Especially

in these times, Europe is not just our past, it’s also our future. So the music being performed

in Grangegorman in April 2017 was very deliberately chosen to reflect Europe.

It will be performed in German, French and Russian, and not in English, although

translations of the songs were provided in the programme. The poems were read in

English translations, for the sake of immediacy.

It is to be hoped that in TU Dublin, it will be an emphasis on our cultural

heritage, on learning the languages of Europe, of claiming our heritage. In performing

this, we aim to present a cross section of that heritage in poetry and music, in the

form that arose in the cities of Europe at that time: the Cabaret. Not just a Cabaret,

but a Revolutionary Cabaret!

Michael O’Loughlin

developed Molly says No! a one

woman show, with classical

music songs and written by

poet/screenwriter Michael

O’Loughlin based on the novel

Ulysses by James Joyce.

Dominica Williams is a mezzosoprano

from Dublin. She has

sung as a chorus member and

a minor role soloist with

RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Opera

Theatre Company, Wide Open

Opera & Northern Ireland

Opera. She has performed four

new works for mezzo-soprano,

flute, viola and harpsichord

with members of Kirkos Ensemble

in an installation evening of

contemporary music organised

by the Irish Composers’

Collective. She was invited to

take part in a masterclass with

world-renowned baritone Simon

Keenlyside as part of the New

Music Dublin Festival in the

National Concert Hall. Dominica

is a Northern Ireland Opera

Young Artist for the 2016/2017

season, and she continues her

vocal studies under Judith Mok

in Dublin.

Born in Aberdeen, Elaine Clark

studied with David Takeno

at the Guildhall School of

Music and Drama in London,

where she won several awards

and prizes. She continued her

studies with Viktor Liberman

at the Utrecht Conservatory in

the Netherlands. Since 1996,

when she was appointed Co-

Leader of the National Symphony

Orchestra of Ireland, Elaine

has considered Dublin her home.

Elaine is very much in demand

as a chamber musician, being a

member of the Ficino Ensemble

and Clarion Horn Trio. She has

also travelled extensively with

the contemporary music ensemble

Concorde and performed numerous

world premieres.

Born in Helsinki in 1992. Selftaught

in most subjects, Maire

Saaritsa relocated to Ireland

in 2015 to study the theatre of

the clown, movement and mime.

She has since met with many

people with whom she is now

beginning to collaborate with

much mirth and gusto – on her

part, in any case.

Kate Ellis is a cellist and

Artistic Director of Crash

Ensemble, Ireland’s leading

new music group, and a member

of Francesco Turrisi's Taquin

experiments, Yurodny, Ergodos

Musicians and the electrofolk

group Fovea Hex. Kate

has toured and broadcast in

Selected notes from the programme

The Twilight Of Freedom – Osip Mandelstam (1891–

1938). Before the war Mandelstam and other poets

like Anna Ahmatova and Marina Tsetaeva used to meet

and recite their poems in the Stray Dog cafe in

St. Petersburg. Like many Russian poets, he gave

the Revolution a cautious welcome, while having the

deep forebodings expressed in this poem. Mandelstam

eventually died in a prison camp in Siberia in 1938.

Youkali – Kurt Weill (1900–1950). By 1916 the

tango had arrived in Paris from the brothels of

Buenos Aires. Years later the German composer Kurt

Weill was exiled to Paris by the Nazi regime and

wrote this tango, full of longing for an imaginary

paradise.

Ludions, La Diva de l’Empire, Je Te Veux – These

songs were composed by the eccentric composer Erik

Satie (1866–1925) whose works are seen as precursors

to Surrealism and Minimalism. The texts are by the

absurdist poet Leon-Paul Fargue.

Karawane – Hugo Ball (1886–1927) was a German poet,

who co-founded the Cabaret Voltaire in 1916 in

Zurich, and was one of the leading figures in the

art movement Dada. Karawane, he said, is a nonsense

poem whose meaninglessness is its meaning.

The Jealousy Duet from The Threepenny Opera Kurt

Weill/Bertolt Brecht. Brecht and Weill’s adaptation of

John Gay’s 18 th century ballad opera, was set in the

Germany still recovering.

Grodek – Georg Trakl (1887–1914) was one of the

major German poets of the twentieth century. He

served on the Galician front as a medical orderly,

and committed suicide in 1914.

Les Chemins de l’Amour, a popular song in the French

tradition by Francis Poulenc (1899–1963).

El Choclo – A.G. Villoldo, a popular tango in Paris

during the war years.

El Paño Moruno / Jota – Manuel de Falla (1976–1946)

spent the years before the war in Paris, where he

was influenced by Stravinsky, but after returning

to Madrid in 1914, he would rediscover Spanish folk

music, as in these two songs.



1916: A REVOLUTIONARY CABARET! 164–165

Australia, the USA, Europe

and China, performing at

Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy

Centre, Shanghai EXPO, Istanbul

Akbank Jazz Festival, Canberra

International Music Festival,

Bang on a Can Marathon (NYC)

and the Edinburgh International

Festival. Kate has collaborated

with, commissioned and recorded

works by composers including

Steve Reich, David Lang, Nico

Muhly and Donnacha Dennehy and

has performed with a diverse

range of musicians including

Bobby McFerrin, Iarla O

Lionaird, Martin Hayes, Gavin

Friday and Karan Casey.

Nick Roth is a saxophonist,

composer, producer and

educator. Engaging in

conversation with mathematical

biologists, astrophysicists,

ecologists and hydrologists,

whilst simultaneously subsumed

by an insatiable appetite for

literature, his compositions

interrogate the inherence of

meaning in formal structure

and the symbiotic resonance of

words as sound and text. Roth

is artistic director of the

Yurodny Ensemble, a founding

member of the Water Project,

and a partner at Diatribe

Records, Ireland’s leading

independent record label

for new music. His work is

represented by the Contemporary

Music Centre (CMC) and the

Association of Irish Composers

(AIC).

Accordionist Dermot Dunne

completed his studies at the

Conservatory in Kiev, Ukraine.

He returned to Ireland where

he pursues an active career as

both a performer and a teacher

at the TU Dublin Conservatoire

of Music and Drama. He has

often performed as a guest

soloist with the Irish Chamber

Orchestra and in 2010 toured

with them extensively in

Ireland, China and Singapore.

He has premiered works written

by leading Irish composers

such as Deirdre Gribbin, Ian

Wilson and Jane O'Leary. He has

performed with Crash Ensemble

at the Edinburgh Festival, the

Royal Opera House Covent Garden

London, Carnegie Hall, New

York and the Kennedy Centre in

Washington DC. In recent years

he has performed frequently

with Katherine Hunka on violin

and Malachy Robinson on Double

bass in a group called The

Far Flung Trio which has been

hugely successful at venues

throughout Ireland.

There Is… – Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918) is

considered one of the major poets of the first part

of the century and influenced Dada and Surrealism.

An artillery officer in the First World War, he died

in 1918, a victim of the Spanish flu pandemic which

killed more than 30 million people that year.

From a Soldier’s Tale – Igor Stravinsky (1882–

1971) was a Russian-born composer who was living in

Switzerland during the First World War, and his work

was often based on Russian folk themes. ‘A Soldier’s

Tale’ is based on an old Russian tale and Tilim Bom

and Counting Song are children’s songs.

Night. Street. Streetlight. Pharmacy – Alexander Blok

(1880–1921) was the leading Russian symbolist poet.

From Jewish Folk Poetry (Op.79) – During WWI there

was a huge revival of interest in Yiddish culture

in Poland and Russia, typified by the work of the

ethnographer and later Soviet deputy S. Anski.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–1970) was a child in 1916,

but denounced by Stalin’s arts minister Zhdanov in

the late 1940s, he turned to these Jewish folk songs

for inspiration.

The songs were performed in German, French and Russian to accompaniment on cello,

viola, saxophone and accordion. Photo: Lori Keeve

Alexander Blok’s Night. Street. Streetlight. Pharmacy

performed by Maire Saaritsa. Photo: Lori Keeve



166–167

Courageous Women, a film that reimagines moments from the lives of influential women figures in Irish history

around the Vote for Women. On location in the former Richmond Penitentiary in Grangegorman, 2019. Photo: Smashing Times

City of Dublin

Winter Solstice

Festival

A Creative

Celebration of

the Centenary

Vote for Women

Breaking Down

the Walls

Smashing

Times



City of Dublin Winter

Solstice Festival

Context

The Winter Solstice Festival

first arrived in Grangegorman

in 2016 by Smashing Times and

Slí An Chroí through ‘…the lives

we live’ Grangegorman Public

Art programme. Since then,

it’s become an annual event on

the campus through an ongoing

partnership with TU Dublin.

Biography

The Smashing Times International

Centre for the Arts and

Equality, incorporating Smashing

Times Theatre and Film Company

and Smashing Times Youth Arts

Ensemble, is dedicated to the

promotion, study and practice

of the arts and equality. The

Centre operates as a world class

arts space and digital hub for

artists, activists, communities

and the general public across

Ireland and internationally.

It provides a resource service

and a training and networking

agency in relation to using

high quality creative processes

and collaborative arts practice

to promote human rights and

equality for all. The Centre

produces an annual and multiannual

interdisciplinary arts

programme with a focus on

economic development, tourism,

community infrastructure and

education. All artistic mediums

are supported with a focus on

the performing and collaborative

arts including theatre, film,

visual arts, dance and music.

Professionals associated for

these respective projects

include Mary Moynihan, writer,

theatre and film maker and

curator of the digital art

exhibition; Niamh Clowry,

associate curator and

researcher; EM Creative, Digital

Artist and Graphic Designer;

Freda Manweiler, Producer, Mark

Quin, Film Director and Editor,

High Wire Ltd, Roisin McAtamney,

Actor, Facilitator; Megan

O’Malley, actor; Ann Sheehy,

actor; Tamar Keane, Facilitator;

The Winter Solstice Festival has been held on the TU

Dublin Grangegorman Campus since 2016. The festival

marks 21 December, the shortest day of the year,

which is celebrated worldwide across a range of cultures.

This family festival is a colourful gathering of

local communities with national and international visitors

celebrating the Winter Solstice, bringing together

céilí dancing, traditional storytelling, poetry and craft

making with the processional parade culminating in a

powerful and coming collective fire ceremony in Dublin’s

Smithfield Square.

The celebration is an inclusive gathering of people of all ethnicities and

cultures through costuming, drumming, parading, flag carrying and being a participant

in the Winter Solstice Fire Ceremony. Mary Moynihan adapted a script to fit a

‘carnival-like’ atmosphere of dance, storytelling, song and music, which was directed

by her and Dr. Eric Weitz. Performers and entertainers included Carla Ryan, actor

and singer; Geraldine McAlinden, actor; Peter Kelly, musician; Hilary Bow, performer;

Vijaya Bateson, stilt walker; Joe McKinney, Shamanic Drummer; the Brian Ború Céilí

Band; Michael McCabe, artist and facilitator; and performers from TU Dublin Conservatoire

of Music and Drama. A craft workshop for young people was facilitated by Kim

Jenkinson, visual artist. Actors and musicians mingle with the audience which is made

up of families and grandparents with children ranging from babies to teens. The arc

of the characters, from being very isolated, hopeless and suspicious at the beginning,

to becoming hopeful and aware of the need for connection to each other, to our wider

communities, histories and nature.

Since 2016 pubic engagement at the Dublin Winter Solstice Festival has

been 1,600 with 30,000 reached via social media, totalling 121,600 in the past four

years. In 2019 Smashing Times presented the City of Dublin Winter Solstice Celebration

Festival as part of a European-wide transnational project ‘Legends of the Great

Birth’. Smashing Times is one of seven partners involved in this initiative which is

supported by Creative Europe and implemented in the framework of the European

year of Cultural Heritage 2018. This Creative Europe transnational project explores,

through the use of performance, a common European mythological heritage, specifically

in relation to the Myth of Creation, a myth present in a range of mythologies.

The seven project partners are Aeroplio Theatre, Greece, Smashing Times, Ireland,

Action Synergy, Greece, Fusion of Arts, Romania, AIDA Fondazione, Italy, Stella Polaris,

Norway and Stowarzyszenie Teatr Krzyk, Poland.

The traditional lighting of the fire to welcome the solstice and the return of the

light on the shortest day of the year. Photo: Lori Keeve

Dr. Eric Weitz, Emeritus

Assistant Professor, School of

Creative Arts, Trinity College

Dublin. The historian advising

on the project was Sinead

McCoole.

Links

www.smashingtimes.ie

http://smashingtimes.ie/

theatreandfilmcompany/cityof-dublin-winter-solsticecelebration-festival

SMASHING TIMES: WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL 168–169

The traditional lighting of the fire to welcome the solstice

and the return of the light on the shortest day of the year.

Photo: Lori Keeve



A Creative Celebration

of the Centenary Vote

for Women

Context

‘The Women’s Voices’ exhibition

comprised banners which

highlighted ten stories from

the past – Margaret Skinnider

(1893–1971), Helena Moloney

(1884–1967), Máire Nic

Shiubhlaigh (1883–1958), Grace

Evelyn Gifford (1888–1955),

Dr. Katheen Lynn (1874–1955),

Constance Markievicz (1886–

1927), Eva Gore Booth (1870–

1926), Hanna Sheehy Skeffington

(1877–1946), Margaret (Gretta)

Cousins and Dr. Eleanora Fleury

(1867–1960). As well as Irish

activists for women’s rights

and Quakers Anna Haslam (1929–

1922) and Thomas Haslam, the

English suffragettes Emily

Wilding Davison (1872–1913) and

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928).

Specific to Grangegorman, Dr.

Fleury, who became a successful

psychiatrist, was the first

female member of the Medico

Psychological Association

(MPA), now the Royal College

of Psychiatrists. Fleury

served as assistant medical

officer in the Richmond Asylum

(later called the Grangegorman

District Mental Hospital) and

before becoming deputy resident

medical superintendent (RMS)

at the satellite asylum and

Portrane, Co. Dublin. She was

a suffragette and was active

in the fight for Irish freedom.

She was arrested during the

Irish Civil War and imprisoned

in Kilmainham where she served

as medical officer to the

Republican prisoners using

whatever sparse resources were

available to her.

Creative Drama Workshops were

held in Dublin 7 with St. Paul’s

Secondary School, Stanhope

Street Secondary School, and

Henrietta Street Adult Community

Education Service, based on the

question ‘What does the vote

mean to you?’ and ‘What can

we do today to promote women’s

rights and equality for all?.’

On 8 March 2019 students from

TU Dublin’s Conservatoire of

Music and Drama performed a

Creative Celebration of Women’s

Stories 1916–1923 at St.

Reflection – The Art of Forgetting and Remembering

As an artist, I am inspired by historical memory and

the range of narratives that can exist within history. I

find myself consistently drawn to hidden histories of

powerful women who stood up against oppression and

refused to accept the roles assigned to them in terms

of gender and sociopolitical constructs of containment

and denial. I am particularly interested in how we can

use art to enable voices from the past to speak to us

today. ‘Women’s Voices, Then and Now’ is a creative

celebration of Women’s stories in Ireland from 1916

to 1923. Smashing Times used creative processes of

theatre, film and online digital resources to celebrate

the vote for women and to reflect on the experiences

of women today in relation to gender equality, human

fights and diversity. The project identified stories of

change experienced by pioneering women who fought

for freedom and for the vote in Ireland in 1918, including

women living in the Grangegorman area of Dublin.

The aesthetic of the work is to capture a moment or essence of each

character/person as if a light has suddenly penetrated a darkened space to reveal in

the shadows a glimpse of the ordinary/extraordinary presence of a real human being.

In the same way that the dust lingers in the air, invisible one moment and then suddenly

present, as if it were diamond dust caught and now glittering in the sunlight

of a dark and empty cell. The woman’s presence fills the space. As we worked on the

film, exhibition and workshops with communities bringing to life the stories of these

women who risked their lives to campaign for a woman’s right to vote and for freedom

from oppression, we were able to reflect on our own lives and the values inherent in

our own and other’s narratives today.

The research, online exhibition and film explore stories that reside in

liminal spaces. According to French philosopher Michel Foucault (1916–1984) social

institutions often produce dominant ‘paradigms of knowledge’ which in turn play a

role in establishing hierarchical power structures and relations. These power structures

create a dominant narrative hiding multiple voices particularly of women. The

arts can be the shamanic process through which the stories speak to us today, as we

continue to ask who is still unrepresented, who is still missing, and why?

During filming, we worked in the windowless cells of the basement of the

Laurence’s Church to celebrate

International Women’s Day. The

evening featured a performance

of Constance and her Friends

by Mary Moynihan, performed by

Megan O’Malley, directed by Dr.

Eric Weitz, and the launch of

the online exhibition ‘Women’s

Voices: Then and Now’ and the

film Courageous Women, launched

by Senator Alice Mary Higgins.

Actor Raymond Keane read Eavan

Boland’s poem ‘Our Future

will become the past of other

Women’. The evening was chaired

by Orla O’Connor, Director of

the National Women’s Council

of Ireland with contributions

by Samantha Ncube, ‘No Hate

Speech’ Youth Ambassador and

Robert Downes, Actor, Director

and Facilitator and LGBTQI

campaigner.

Courageous Women, a film by Mary

Moynihan produced by Smashing

Times and Highwire, continues

this process of remembering.

It is co-directed by Moynihan

and Mary Quinn, edited by

Mike Manweiler Quinn, with

actors Megan O’Malley, Róisín

McAtamney and Ann Sheehy.

The film reimagines moments

from the lives of Constance

Markievicz (1868–1927), an

Irish politician, revolutionary

nationalist, suffragettes and

socialist;’ Helena Moloney

(1884–1967), a member of

Inghinidhe na hÉireann and the

Irish Citizen Army who were

stationed at City Hall Garrison

during the Easter Rising

of 1916, Margaret Skinnider

(1893–1971), a revolutionary

feminist and maths teacher who

came to Dublin from Scotland

at the age of 23 to take part

in the Easter Rising and Hanna

Sheehy Skeffington (1877–1946),

a radical activist, feminist,

pacifist and human rights

campaigner and one of Ireland’s

foremost suffragettes.

Along with ‘…the lives we live’,

project supporters included the

Department of Culture, Heritage

and the Gaeltacht, Cllr. Janice

Boylan, Dublin 7 residents;

Fiona Maxwell, Lindsey Melia,

Aoife Moran, Siphiwe Moyo,

and Valerie Roe, Secondary

School Teacher with St. Paul’s

Secondary School, Dublin 7.

Link

www.smashingtimes.ie

http://smashingtimes.ie/

centrefortheartsandhumanrights/

smashing-times-a-creativecelebration-of-the-centenaryvote-for-women

SMASHING TIMES: CENTENARY VOTE FOR WOMEN

Clock Tower in TU Dublin, Grangegorman. Originally opened in 1916 as the Richmond

Penitentiary, it is possible that these cells once held captive women and children, and

perhaps those who were shipped off to Australia as part of the cruel transportation

system in place for them. The cast and crew felt a strong sense of history and a presence

in the space and we regularly took time to stop to acknowledge the presence of

the past and to remember the inhuman way in which people were treated. The silence

in the space spoke volumes.

As an artist I was profoundly affected by the historical essence of the

Grangegorman campus and spaces such as the Clock Tower. To take time to remember

and reflect on a society where women and children were held in chains perhaps

for no other reason than actions carried out to escape from the grinding poverty that

existed back then, to remember the nameless men, women and children from the past

who suffered at the hands of a patriarchial, colonial authoritarian world where human

rights and equality had no value.

Walking through Grangegorman there is a liminality at play, a transition

between two worlds of the old and the new, the past and the future and the truth and

denial. A possibility for justice between what is hidden or denied and what is remembered

and respected. Grangegorman has on the one hand a sense of excitement,

possibility and hope, for a new university that will work with, respect and support

thousands of students young and old, into a new future. There is hope because now

the space is seeped in values of respect and dignity, of support and kindness, of learning

and possibility. What lingers underneath or alongside this real world of potential is

an invisible narrative of pain, sorrow and injustice, and also possibly acts of unknown

kindness in a cruel world of voiceless, hidden histories that have left their presence

in an energy that still lingers.

What I have discovered myself is that there is no escaping the past, it

lingers around us like ghosts from another world, like the mist that disappears only to

reappear when we least expect it. Our duty is to find a way to acknowledge what still

needs to be spoken or listened to or simply witnessed. I wonder who are the watchers,

the ghosts from the past watching us walk through their space as we stand here today

in a country where we have democracy and freedom? For me, theatre as an artform

is about making what is invisible visible and we have a duty of care to remember the

past and to be waiting for when the doors to the liminal world will reopen and share

their secrets with us, or perhaps we must push those doors open to bring what was

once invisible or denied, back onto the stage.

Mary Moynihan

170–171



Breaking Down

the Walls

SMASHING TIMES: BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS 172–173

Young people need more training like this

on gender equality. I would really like to use theatre

to promote human rights.

Barry O’Bolin, St. Paul’s CBS

This project was supported by

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and

the Edmund Rice Trust.

Key personnel engaged in this

project were Mary Moynihan,

writer, theatre and film-maker;

Freda Manweiler, Producer;

Catherine McFadden, Psychiatric

Counsellor, and EM Creative.

Images are courtesty of

Smashing Times.

The Aspire Ireland organisation

envisions a world where people

with Asperger Syndrome have

the same opportunities to

work, socialise and participate

as everyone else. Asperger

Syndrome is a condition on

the Autism Spectrum. Asperger

Syndrome impacts on the way

that individuals view the

world, interact with and

communicate with others.

St. Paul’s CBS has been in

existence since 1869. It is

also known as ‘The School

Around the Corner or ‘The

Brunner’.

Links

The project resulted in

the design of a new theatre

workshop model, and the

creation of a freely

accessible Breaking Down

the Walls digital handbook.

http://www.smashingtimes.

ie/theatreandfilmcompany/

wp-content/uploads/2018/04/

Breaking-Down-the-Walls-

Digital-Book.pdf

This digital book is an innovative, interdisciplinary

creative arts project celebrating the new Grangegorman

development and individual and community

integration. Breaking Down the Walls was initiated by

Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company in partnership

with Aspire – Asperger Syndrome Association

of Ireland, St Paul’s CBS Secondary School, HACE –

Henrietta Adult and Community Education Service, TU

Dublin Conservatoire and along with ‘…the lives we live’

Grangegorman Public Art, is supported by St. Patrick’s

Cathedral and the Edmund Rice Trust.

Breaking Down the Walls began in 2016. Using the metaphor of the formidable

stone wall that surrounds Grangegorman, Smashing Times worked with three

local groups to explore the walls that surround us that lead to significant challenges

both personally and socially. Using a creative workshop process, artists and participants

explored how to ‘break down walls that keep us from the unknown, ourselves

and each other’ – Viola Spolin, (1906–1994). Together they researched the history and

social and cultural heritage of Grangegorman and the former St. Brendan’s Psychiatric

Hospital and conducted site visits to Grangegorman to explore the physical wall and

the transformation of the space into a new urban quarter for Dublin city. As part of the

project, groups were introduced to the work of spoken word poets Kate Tempest and

Benjamin Zephaniah. Spoken word poetry is an art that focuses on the aesthetics of

word play and intonation and voice reflection. Spoken word poetry includes any kind

of poetry read aloud, including hip-hop, jazz poetry, poetry slams, traditional poetry

readings and prose monologues.

The project resulted in the design of a new theatre workshop model, and

the creation of a freely accessible Breaking Down the Walls digital handbook.

Theatre workshops included drama games and exercises along with

discussions on human rights with reference to gender equality,

inclusion, mental health and access to the arts

Cross-community creative workshop on themes of individual and

community integration, TU Dublin Grangegorman, December 2016



174–175

To be.

To wallow.

To wonder.

Goldenbridge Day Nursery, St. Vincent Street West, Inchicore, Dublin 8. Student: Sarah O'Donavan. Photo by Jo Holmwood, 2018.

The children in early childhood care settings were given the opportunity to wallow, to share beautiful moments, to explore, feel and enquire.

Maree

Hensey



TO BE. TO WALLOW. TO WONDER. 176–177

Biographies

Maree Hensey is a visual

artist. Her practice

encompasses drawing, sculpture

and installation. Material

is an integral component in

her practice. Maree uses

materials that are rich in

associations and investigates

ways to transform them, often

projecting new identities and

layers of meaning onto the

work in doing so. Over the

past number of years Maree has

completed several public art

commissions, site-specific

Installations and communitybased

participatory art

projects. Her interest is in

responding to context, where

all of the cues for a works

development evolve from the

social and physical aspects

of a particular place. This

responsive and process-led

approach stimulates ideas and

generates content through

dialogue and creative exchange

with people who her work will

affect. Maree continually

expands the premise from which

she works and re-assesses her

processes and methods.

Kids’ Own Publishing

Partnership was formed in

1997 and since then has

firmly established itself as

a leading organisation within

the cultural sector, supporting

children’s engagement

with professional artists

through high-quality arts

and publishing experiences.

Kids’ Own works in defence

of children’s right to

culture, supporting children’s

inclusion and recognition

as active cultural citizens

within their communities and

society as a whole. Kids’

Own works through a model of

social change, blending strong

social justice goals with

artistic excellence. Through

publishing and the arts, Kids’

Own advocates for a society

where children are valued and

listened to, and where their

voices, opinions, experiences

and creative expression are

given visibility, credence

and status. An integral part

of Kids’ Own’s work is the

I am a visual artist. My artistic practice has spanned

painting, drawing, sculpture, film, printmaking, installation,

and public art. Ritual, repetitive action, alchemy and

substrate are integral components in my practice. I use

materials that are rich in associations and investigate

ways to transform them, often projecting new identities

and layers of meaning onto the work in doing so.

In 2017, I began an action-based collaboration with Kid’s Own Publishing

Partnership and TU Dublin’s Early Childhood Education Programme. I wanted to

explore how children engage all their senses in the development of individual language

and expression. As an artist, my approach was to present a sensory, paired

back environment for the participants to explore, feel and investigate using natural

open-ended materials such as sand, feathers and water.

In preparation for the placements, I led a collective of second year Bachelor

of Arts (Hons) Early Childhood Education students through a process-based

experience. These experiences were documented, and through discussion, each student

then began to develop methodologies that could be used with young people.

Our aim was to create a socially safe and emotionally supportive environment, which

would offer children immersive opportunities to actively explore, question, enquire,

come up with ideas and make their own decisions. Each student prepared a shared

ethos and approach for working with young children in readiness for their placement

work in the communities.

Both as an artist and in a supervisory capacity, I followed students in their

placements and the collective regrouped for a closing shared discussion to review

experiences. The participatory nature of this provided students with raw and real

evidence of how engaging with the arts gives energy to children’s natural capacity for

creativity, communicating, thinking and exploring. A blog documenting the processes

can be found in the Links section overleaf.

This online presence gives an insight into the sensitivity towards the

aesthetic and the ethos of nurturing individuality and self-expression. The students

engagement and motivation became the key criteria to the documentation. Kids Own

put together short process videos that capture the perspectives of the partners and

participants in all phases of the project. The videos and sound recording footage are

very insightful and offer a valuable testimony to the project. They highlight how the

students could plan and implement aspects of the work into each of their care settings.

This is an essential part of project’s legacy.

strategic development of the

sector of arts practice with

children, supporting and

mentoring professional artists

who work in this field and

whose practice is deeply rooted

in respect for reciprocal

processes of enquiry and making

between artists and children.

The following is a quote from

Leslie Cassells:

‘Although perhaps sometimes

hidden, the child-centred

approach is at the heart of all

the work we carry out in the

Arts in Education Module, as

well as all reading material

our students are asked to carry

out. The work from this project

is refreshing and embodies

this way of working. My hope

is that bringing this work into

placements in such a focused

way will cause ripples and

reverberations long after

the work.’

Leslie Cassells, School of

Languages, Law and Social

Sciences TU Dublin is the

longest established provider

of Early Childhood Education

in Ireland. The BA in Early

Childhood Care and Education

was introduced in September

1999. In September 2005, First

Year intake on a new 3-year

BA (Hons.) took place. There

is a work placement for 30

days in Year 1 and 60 days in

both Years 2 and 3. Practice

in the Early Years, Child

Health and Nutrition, Art in

Early Education, Drama in

Education, Sociology and Social

Policy, Skills Development,

Child Development in Context,

Mental Health during the Early

Years, Language, Literacy and

Numeracy, Aistear and Early

Years Curricula, Outdoor

Learning, Pedagogy and

Curriculum, Digital Childhoods,

Working with Families and

Communities, Child protection,

Business and Management Skills,

and Sociology of Education and

Inequality.

Links

www.tobetowallowtowonder.

wordpress.com

www.vimeo.com/256061757

Early years residency with

artist Maree Hensey and

TU Dublin Early Childhood

Education

www.vimeo.com/282830334

To be. To wallow. To wonder.

Phase Two

www.mareehensey.com

www.kidsown.ie

TU Dublin BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education Art Department,

Mountjoy Square S, Mountjoy, Dublin 1. Photo: Maree Hensey, 2018

The process involved introducing the

students to ways of abstract mark making using

a range of exploratory techniques, processes and

experimental materials, large and small scale. They

gained a confidence in experimental and expressive

mark-making. Each mark made was considered,

thoughtful and meaningful. They listened to their own

rhythms and made work that was sensitive, thought

provoking and individual.



TO BE. TO WALLOW. TO WONDER. 178–179

TU Dublin BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education Art Department,

Mountjoy Square S, Mountjoy, Dublin 1. Photo: Maree Hensey, 2018

My intention by introducing materials such

as sand, feathers and leaves was to enrich the

students’ understanding of the potential that the

‘seeming chaos’ would have to offer the children in

their placement settings for adventure, discovery,

expression, fun and development.

We sat on the floor with the children, we

were experiencing what they were experiencing.

The children were involved in the planning of the

session and were very excited about that.

Goldenbridge Day Nursery, St Vincent Street West, Inchicore, Dublin 8

Student: Sarah O’Donavan. Photo: Jo Holmwood, 2018

St. Vincents Day Nursery, Ballyfermot/Palmerstown

Primary Care and Mental Health Campus, Ballyfermot

Rd, Ballyfermot. Student: Lynne Murray.

Photo: Maree Hensey, 2018

The children in early childhood care settings

were given the opportunity to wallow, to share

beautiful moments, to explore, feel and enquire.



180–181

The Glass

Garden

Brian

Cregan

Photographing architectural models at Grangegorman

Development Agency 2017. Photo: Alisha Doody



THE GLASS GARDEN 182–183

Context

The Glass Garden by artistin-residence

Brian Cregan

involved working with a

group of children from the

Grangegorman area during 2017-

2018. The artist established

a partnership between the

newly relocated TU Dublin

Photography Department and

local communities, Aosóg

Child and Family Project, and

Step-by-Step Child and Family

Project. The children forming

the participant group were

between ages 8 and 12 and were

all attending schools in the

Smithfield and Stoneybatter

areas.

The residency focused on

identity, environment and a

sense of place through the

medium of photography, video

and visual art. Inspired by

‘The Grangegorman Masterplan’

for development of the area,

a range of creative activities

were used to engage the

children on their journey of

discovery to ‘reach out’ and

explore their local community

in transition, through art

making, learning new skills and

gaining experiences in the city

and beyond.

Late in 2016, Brian approached us with his proposal to

site the first The Glass Garden residency the following

summer at our Photography facilities on the Grangegorman

campus. His project would focus on working

with children from the immediate locale, using photography

to foster and develop forms of self-representation

around themes of identity, belonging and the environment.

We were immediately convinced of the value of

the proposal and the potential of the residency. For us,

having only arrived in the neighbourhood in 2015, it was

an opportunity to work with local community groups,

providing access to our facilities, which generally lie

dormant across the summer. Equally, it was a chance

to work with Brian, a graduate of our BA Photography

programme and an artist with a solid reputation in

collaborative practices, in order to realise the serious

ambition of his project.

Brian’s residency, consisting of an intense set of practice-led workshops

and related field-trips developed for the children at Aosóg (2017 & 2018) and Stepby-Step

(2017), might be seen in relation to a longer tradition of what is termed the

‘Photographic Empowerment’ movement in the US.

This movement, which draws on the pedagogical methods developed

by Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire, may sometimes pivot around practices known as

‘Photo Novella’ or ‘Photovoice.’ Using the workshop model, visual literacy and self-representation

through photography are taught as a means to explore identity formation

with the agency of the participants to visually represent themselves to the fore. The

power of the image, as well as the question of power relations embedded in photographs,

are also demystified. While the children in The Glass Garden residencies were

young, they nonetheless found out about photographic seeing and techniques; they

moved between the subject-positions of the photographer and the photographed,

all in a supportive learning environment. They were thus exposed to the potential

of the visual image to communicate their own ideas: ideas about themselves, about

what they see and how they see it. Photography does more than merely represent

the world. It acts in and on the world, connecting people, forming relationships and

ultimately, forging new communities.

There is a value to enumerating the kinds of photographic activities that

the children took part in during The Glass Garden residency, which you get a strong

sense of in this publication. They worked with digital and analogue photographic

processes; they tried out a range of cameras, from point-and-shoot to high-end,

professional; they made their own cameras from cardboard boxes; they exposed

direct-positive cyanotype prints with natural objects outdoors; they watched and

waited in the darkroom as the images they had made materialised from latent image

to positive print. In fact they encountered the whole span of the history of photography

from its origins to the present in their workshops, even if it might not have been

so evident to them. They also constructed and set up photographs, used accessories

in the photographic studio, styled their own mini-performances, and worked with

Some of these activities

included gallery visits,

artist talks, historical

tours, photography workshops

and photobook making. Two

exhibitions, one as part of

Culture Night, were held on the

TU Dublin Grangegorman campus,

where the children shared

some of their experiences and

artworks with family, friends

and other members of their

community.

Biographies

Brian Cregan is a lensbased

artist who explores the

potential of photography to

represent our relationship with

landscape, natural history and

the built environment. Working

independently on commissions

and assignments, he has

successfully collaborated on

numerous projects with other

artists, curators, educators,

designers and architects. He

exhibits his work nationally

and internationally. His work

as an educator is integrated

into his practice and often

forms the inspiration for new

work. He has been designing and

facilitating photography/visual

arts workshops since graduating

from the TU Dublin Photography

BA Programme in 2012, where he

received first class honours and

the DIT Photography medal for

best student. He is a Creative

Associate working on the

Creative Schools programme on

behalf of the Arts Council and

is a member of the pioneering

Arts in Education Teacher

Artist Partnership initiative.

Ann Curran lectures in

photography and is Programme

Chair of the BA in Photography.

She has a BA in History from

Trinity College Dublin and a

Masters in Fine Art from Visual

Studies Workshop, Rochester, New

York. Her research is concerned

with what Hal Foster defines

as an archival impulse, that

which seeks ‘to make historical

information, often lost or

displaced, physically present.’

She has exhibited in Ireland

and the US and was formerly the

Assistant Coordinator for the

Media Center at Visual Studies

Workshop, Rochester New York.

She was the Coordinator of the

Central New York Programmers

Group based at Cornell

University and was active in

bringing both documentary and

experimental film/video makers

to the upstate New York media

centre and college circuit.

Pinhole photography outside Photography Department at TU Dublin,

Grangegorman 2017. Photo: Brian Cregan

everyone to edit what was presented in their exhibition. Reviewing the archive of

photographs, across both The Glass Garden residencies, one notices the deep attentiveness

of the children, their gestures and their curiosity, the respect they show for

the team of people working with them, the fun they had in actively exploring their

surroundings whether in the Botanic Gardens or at The Hugh Lane Gallery.

It was wonderful to meet Geraldine Nugent and see the commitment of

all those working at Aosóg and Step-By-Step. The workshops were also so effective

and enjoyable for the children by virtue of the time, support and input of our own

photography technician, Kate O’Brien. BA Photography graduates, Alisha Doody and

Claire Behan, worked closely with Brian to document all the activities across the span

of the two residencies, creating a tremendous record of what was achieved. All forms

of documentation, including this publication, acknowledge what was an important and

unique project led by Brian, which undoubtedly had impact. Through active learning,

the children used photography to scrutinise their environment, record it, reconstruct

it and reproduce it. At their exhibitions after each residency, the excitement and the

pride of the children shyly showing what they had made was clear. Thinking about

the social function of photography, one sees how a project such as this one creates

relationships and communities, and how communities may be also be built around

photographs.

Ann Curran



THE GLASS GARDEN 184–185

Anthony Haughey is an artist

and a lecturer in TU Dublin,

where he supervises practicebased

PhDs in The Centre for

Socially Engaged Practice-Based

Research and teaches on the

Photography programme. His art

practice works from the premise

of a principal situatedness

of art in place and community

and its connectedness

through dialogic exchange.

His solo and collaborative

works have been exhibited,

collected, and published

widely internationally; The

National Gallery of Ireland

recently acquired his work for

their permanent collection.

He is currently working on a

socially engaged public artwork

with the Global Migration

Collective commissioned under

the Infrastructure programme

and Fingal County Council.

Recent and forthcoming

exhibitions include, ‘Go Down

Moses’, Museum of Contemporary

Photography, Chicago, ‘The

Artistic in Documentary, DZ

Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt

and ‘Citizen Nowhere / Citizen

Somewhere: The Imagined Nation’,

which opened in the Crawford

Gallery in late October 2020.

Geraldine Nugent has been

working with children and their

families since graduating from

UCD in 1983. She has worked

and managed residential units

for teenagers 1983–1988, before

she became a Youth Worker for

disadvantaged youth in 1988.

After working in other areas

of childcare she became the

first Project Leader with

Aosóg Child and Family Project

in 1997, and has been there

for 15 of the 20 years the

Project has been running in the

Stoneybatter area. Since 1983

she has continued in education,

parenting training, Early

Childhood education, Youth

Leadership and Management,

Personnel Management to name a

few. Over the years as Project

Leader, she has supported

children in the arts through

drama, music, crafts and art,

and has worked closely with the

Education Department in Collins

Barracks, the CYAG for several

community arts events (games

of 1916, Halloween) and Aontas

events 2001–2006.

Paul Ring began his career with

Sallynoggin SCP working with

both primary and post primary

children. Paul was in this

position for 4 years. Following

this, Paul coordinated and ran

Participants working on studio portraits with Kate O’Brien from the photography department,

TU Dublin Grangegorman 2017. Photo: Brian Cregan

a youth centre in Bray for

1 year before coordinating

Bray New Directions Project

– a youth diversion project

– for 8 years. Paul currently

coordinates the Step-by-Step

Child and Family Project,

working with children

between the ages of 5–12 and

their families. Paul has an

Honours Degree in Humanities,

(psychology/sociology) and

Postgraduate Diplomas in

Counselling and Youth jJustice.

Links

www.briancreganphotography.com



186–187

One Hour

Archive

Louis

Haugh

Joe Stokes, Cattle Market, 2020. Copyright Louis Haugh

Pattern Book 1

I met with Louis Haugh outside Lilliput

Stores on Arbour Hill. He was running a public art

project called One Hour Archive with a local community

group, gathering material for an audio tour

of Stoneybatter led by local residents. He wanted

me to write a text. We sat on the bench across from

the coffee shop, with the potted plants alongside. It

was a sunny day in late summer.



ONE HOUR ARCHIVE 188–189

We talked about several other things before we talked about this text.

Louis and I are friends for many years. We first met when we were both working in

Lilliput Stores, making coffees and selling gourmet sandwiches. I’d been living in the

neighbourhood for several years at that stage, in one of the ‘artisans’ that used to be

unattainable. It was only when I started working in Lilliput, with Louis, that I got to

know the people around me. I got to know the person who potted the plants on this

bench, the same person who for several years ran the street party on Sitric Road,

where I lived before I lived where I live now, close by. I know the various people who

for various reasons complained over the years about this street party and this bench

and the other measures taken to spruce the area up. I know these people slightly, the

way you know neighbours; you become familiar with the regularity of the patterns by

which they live, rather than the specifics of their personalities. Louis and I sat and

talked about this text, interrupted every few minutes by people passing by who we

knew or half-knew, many of them from the time we worked in Lilliput, many of whose

names I’ve forgotten or was never told.

I find, if I’m walking in the city, I see other people walking. If I cycle, I see

cyclists. If I drive, drivers. I see the world partially, in different registers at different

times. I see my own reflection, or the reflection of the technologies I use. I see, sitting

on the bench in Stoneybatter, other more-or-less young adults, fashioning lives out

Marie, knitting, 2018. Copyright of Louis Haugh

Context

One Hour Archive by visual

artist Louis Haugh is an audio,

text, photography and GPS

based work, presented as a one

hour audio-guided walking tour

of Stoneybatter, led by the

voices of the members of The

Tuesday Club. It was officially

launched on 29 May 2019 and

continues to be available

for public access via

www.pocketsights.com/tours/

tour/Dublin-One-HourArchive.

Associated professionals

include An Síol, Community

Development Agency in

Stoneybatter, Mairéad Tully,

community care worker Owen

Binchy, Director of An Síol,

and Dr. Nathan O’Donnell,

writer. One Hour Archive

received additional support

from Fingal County Council.

It has been included in

the Bealtaine Festival, the

Stoneybatter Festival and

Culture Night and features on

publicart.ie.

One Hour Archive began

when, in 2017, Louis joined

The Tuesday Club, a local

knitting and crafts group

based in Stoneybatter, with

the intention of getting to

know the older community

living in his neighbourhood.

The Tuesday Club was founded

to tie with a knot, bind together,

fasten by tying

of whatever resources they have, buying houses if they can, working if

they can, or not working, having children, or not, whatever. This is the natural greedy

self-serving way in which I make the world reflect back to me how I’m living or choosing

not to. I don’t necessarily see, or see as quickly, or as sympathetically, the older

people who live in the houses around me, who pass us on the bench, who’ve lived here

all their lives maybe, or maybe not, but who in any case probably aren’t dropping in to

Lilliput for their groceries. We are not living the same life.

Louis talked to me, on the bench, about the project. He’d been working

with a group called the Tuesday Club, a community initiative (originally a knitting

club) that had been running for years. It was set up originally by Alice Fitzharris.

Tired of seeing other people her age, people older than her, people past retirement,

sitting at home doing nothing, she began to plan weekly meetings focused on crafts:

knitting, crocheting, reading, book-swapping. These sessions became conversational

social events to which the same people returned every week, or every week they

could, contributing a couple of euro toward a cup of tea and a cake, and a chat. They

became a kind of connective tissue, a set of interactions with people, a community,

a club. I know what that feels like, of course, because we all know what community

feels like, whether or not we are privy to it. We tend to think of communities as geographical

entities, existing in space, but in fact I think it’s their durational quality that

really matters: the perpetuation of interconnections over time. It matters, how we are

surrounded, by people, by buildings, by design. These things affect us psychologically.

They affect our health. I thought about all this too, in a partial sort of a way, while we

were sitting on the bench, talking. I thought of how many times I have sat on that

very bench, myself, and interacted with people passing. I tried to think how a piece of

writing might reflect this. I imagined a writer, sitting on a bench; just sitting, like I was

doing, but for months and months, engaged in a sort of slowed-down observation,

charting the things that happen, or do not happen, around them.

What does it mean, to write about the place where we live? At its most

basic I guess it means something about living and it means something about place. It

has something to do, also, with duration: with stillness and patience and the gradual

weaving of things over time. This might be, as I see it, or as I saw it, sitting with Louis

in approximately 2005 by

Stoneybatter resident and

local legend Alice Fitzharris.

Growing tired of her older

neighbours being forgotten

about, Alice started arranging

afternoon tea, cakes, knitting

circles and social gatherings

every Tuesday. This evolved

into a bustling social group

that organises outings, events,

charity raffles and overnight

trips throughout the year as

well as maintaining a weekly

gathering at Aughrim Court. It

was evident when Louis joined

the group that the rich social

history of Stoneybatter was at

risk of being forgotten from

one generation to another.

Over the course of several

months Louis began recording

conversations and interactions

with the members of the group

to gradually build a one-hour

audio-guided walking tour of

Stoneybatter, which became the

One Hour Archive.

Stoneybatter is a small

village in Dublin 7 that

boasts a rich and diverse

social history dating back

many generations. Within

living memory Stoneybatter

has seen huge and continuous

development, once the centre

of a famous cattle mart, now

it is a thriving hub for cafes

and restaurants. One Hour

Archive guides its audience

throughout the streets of

Stoneybatter and shines a light

on the near-forgotten gems

in history. Through anecdotal

across from Lilliput Stores on a day in late-summer, the straightforward study of what

happens when you just sit down in one place – a bench maybe – and observe, following

the play of propulsive forces around you, the bonding and fusing, the knitting and

then unspooling of people’s lives.

This word seems apt, ‘knit’, with its Anglo-Saxon abruptness: two heavy

consonants pressed up against one another, contracting and squeezing the vowel in

between. Derived from the old English, cnyttan, ‘knit’ relates to a similar word in old

Norse, knytja: ‘to tie with a knot, bind together, fasten by tying’; you can almost hear,

in the word itself, its meaning, the repeated knotting, by needle or knitting machine;

the creation of continuous loops, pulled one through the next. It is also the word used

to describe how bones heal after a fracture; they knit. Communities knit together,

become tighter, closer; people knit together after a crisis. The process of looping and

binding: a ready metaphor for a fundamental human impulse, to lean on each other, to

intermingle, to interdepend. Louis and I finished our coffees and vacated the bench,

and walked down Arbour Hill together. I can’t remember what we talked about then,

only that we were talking, and laughing, and then we stopped, and we said goodbye,

believing that if it mattered – whatever it was we’d been discussing, some vestigial

unimportant thing – we could return to it another time.

Nathan O’Donnell

1 This text is a shorteded version of the original text.



ONE HOUR ARCHIVE 190–191

What does it mean, to write about the place

where we live?

storytelling, reminiscing

and group conversations, the

social history of Stoneybatter

is remembered and celebrated.

Audience members are invited

to download the Pocket Sights

® app for iOS or Android

from www. pocketsights.com

or through the App Store or

Play Store.

Biography

Louis Haugh is an artist,

educator and photographer

based in Dublin. His practice

encompasses photography, video,

audio, text and often involves

event-based outcomes. His work

is both socially-engaged and

collaboratively made and seeks

to represent people and places

through different modes of

visual engagement. His practice

is deeply influenced by his

work as a museum photographer

and darkroom printer. Drawing

on many years of work printing

and documenting still and live

art for galleries, museums and

artists in Ireland, he has a

built a complex visual language

based on collaboration and

peer-to-peer engagement.

Dr Nathan O’Donnell is a

Research Fellow at IMMA in

connection with the IMMA

Collection: Freud Project.

He was the holder of a twoyear

Irish Research Council

Enterprise Postdoctoral

Fellowship at the museum,

2018-19, during which time he

co-organised several events and

symposia dedicated to Freud's

work, as well as working as

a curatorial researcher for

exhibitions in connection with

the Freud Project.

Alice and Mary, bus to Carlingford, 2018. Copyright of Louis Haugh

Links

www.louislouis.ie

www.pocketsights.com/

tours/tour/Dublin-One-Hour-

Archive-3117



192–193

Grangegorman

Drawings

Dorothy

Smith

Drawing 1

Drawing is a rich metaphorical word.

We draw water

draw tickets

draw curtains

draw guns

draw breath

draw things behind us

draw things to us

draw conclusions

draw attention to ourselves

Dorothy Smith, For Now, 2020, 56 × 76 cm, pencil on paper

We can withdraw from a person or place

We can become withdrawn

We can withdraw to a drawing room

We are drawn to certain people and places

We are drawn to activities and objects

As people we are drawn together

People have been hung, drawn and quartered

We draw pictures.

What is happening when we draw?

To draw implies movement, a shift from one place or way of being

to another, a transition from one state or function to another.



The water moves from the well or river to the bucket

and becomes a liquid to drink or wash with. The curtains

extend across the window and block the light,

provide privacy. Air moves from outside our body to

inside and becomes part of us. We remove ourselves

from others physically or emotionally. Our focus, attention

and physical being shift when we are attracted to

new places, people, objects, activities.

The act of drawing embodies movement; a pencil moving across a page,

a stimulus transformed into marks, information and ideas being sifted, sorted, processed.

The source material from which we draw can be visual, conceptual, emotional,

it can be a clear idea, or a ‘niggling’ thought. Drawing transforms this source into

another state, in a specific place, giving it form and function. Some ideas will never be

realised or generated if not worked out through drawing. Drawing is searching. It is a

way of thinking. It makes ideas visible.

Drawing is an intrinsic part of human existence. Drawing goes back

through time and form, from a luminous example such as the Lasceaux cave drawings

of 20,000 years ago, to iPad sketches of the present day. Everyone, with few exceptions,

has drawn at some stage in their lives. We start drawing at an early age often

before the age of one. Drawing is non-discipline specific; architects, cartographers,

engineers, and all designers draw to capture, develop and visualise ideas, to communicate.

Drawing has a role in medicine, maths, the sciences, and communications.

Drawing is not the preserve of the artist.

Drawing is both a verb and a noun. To draw is a process. A drawing is

a product. All drawing takes place somewhere on this continuum from process to

product. In early childhood, children are involved in the process of drawing with little

concern for the look of their drawing. Teenagers become concerned with the look,

wanting to get it ‘right’. Where anyone’s work lies on this continuum is dependent

on the person, the discipline and the context in which the work is happening. Some

people will work exclusively on one end or the other of this continuum, others will, in

exploring an idea or over the course of a project move back and forth along its full

length.

No two people draw alike. No two people see

in the same way.

Drawing is a quiet word. It has an intrinsic psychological component. It

operates in a private sphere and requires concentration, attention and an openness

to chance. It is a unique way of interacting with the world and with oneself. It is an

embodied activity that necessitates the moving, distilling, arranging and sorting of

information from potentially many sources into new ideas and knowledge.

Context

The change of use of the

Grangegorman site from an

enclosed and secretive presence

in the neighbourhood into

an outward looking public

educational facility has been

hugely welcomed. Construction

sites are ubiquitous in our

city yet remain places of

mystery, the myriad skills they

contain perhaps overlooked

by the majority of us, the

public. Through ‘…the lives we

live’ Grangegorman Public Art

programme, Dorothy Smith had

an opportunity to gain access

to this world. From 2018 to

2020, she made a number of

visits to the East Quad, on its

journey to becoming the School

of Creative Arts, witnessing

the complex spectacle of its

construction. The objects

and processes that she has

drawn will be hidden in the

finished building, integral

to its presence, enabling it

to function. Infrastructure

of this kind speaks of

possibility, of the future.

It carries with it an air of

optimism.

Dorothy would like to thank

Derek Dockrell of the HSE, Lori

Keeve of GDA, Sean Stagg and

Brian Wilson of Sisk for their

support and time.

Dorothy's work considers the

infrastructure and material

fabric of public space; the

spaces and structures we

habitually traverse and use,

how they impact the quality and

reach of our lives and on the

effectiveness of our cities and

neighbourhoods. Her concerns

include the life cycle of the

city, its design, construction,

demolition, decay, its fragile

and transitory nature; the

invisible forces that cause it

to be and continually shape it.

She is interested in extending

the possibilities of drawing,

how it can explore and interact

with contemporary issues and

places.

Dorothy's drawings are a means

for her to investigate and

engage with our constantly

changing and evolving city.

Formally, she employs

an intricate methodology

which deliberatively places

restrictions and process

between the intention and

the making of the marks. This

necessitates a reconsideration

of the act of looking and a

distillation of the visual

GRANGEGORMAN DRAWINGS 194–195

Dorothy Smith, Moment, 2020, 102 × 64 cm, pencil on paper

1 This talk was given at ‘Drawing Together’, a public seminar which took place in St. Laurence’s Church,

Grangegorman, 12 October 2019. Curated by Conor Sreenan GDA, ‘Drawing Together’ was held in association with

the Irish Architecture Foundation Open House Dublin.

‘Drawing Together’ launched a series of City Drawings by plattenbaustudio. The drawings, commissioned by GDA,

marked the 10 th anniversary of breaking ground at Grangegorman, following the Masterplan for the site drawn by

architect James Mary O’Connor.

The event gathered architects Valerie Mulvin, James Mary O’Connor, Jennifer O’Donnell, Jonathan Janssens,

moderated by artist Dorothy Smith, to discuss the role and value of drawing in city-making.



GRANGEGORMAN DRAWINGS 196–197

Dorothy Smith, Slippage, 2020, 56 × 76 cm, pencil on paper

information used to create

the drawing. This process has

resulted in drawings that

have their own refined formal

language while also referencing

print making techniques and

architectural and technical

drawing.

Biography

Dorothy Smith is a visual

artist whose practice is

concerned with the built

environments in which people

live and work and in particular

the construction and lived

experience of public space. Her

practice involves studio-based

work, curation and publicly

engaged projects.

She is a founding member of the

group Phizzfest Reimagining

Phibsborough which has been

actively engaged in campaigning

for a people centered approach

to design and planning in her

local community.

Dorothy Smith, Underneath, 2020, 56 × 76 cm, pencil on paper

Links

www.dorothysmith.ie



Drawn

Together

DRAWN TOGETHER 198–199

Conor Sreenan

Director of Strategy and

Design, Grangegorman

Development Agency

2019 marked ten years since breaking ground at Grangegorman. That

moment was preceded by longstanding efforts culminating in the Government decision

of 2002 to redevelop the Grangegorman site, and the indefatigable efforts of

many in the years after.

Coinciding with this milestone, the GDA set about commissioning a new

drawing. A large-scale drawing, it was to gather on one sheet all previous progress

with all current plans. It was to be a drawing of record and a working drawing, to

capture the character and texture of the site and neighbourhood in its current and

potential future states. The GDA invited three young architectural practices to participate

in a tender process to be selected to make the drawing. Noreile Breen, NÓS

workshop and plattenbaustudio all submitted proposals demonstrating a range of

critical approaches to the matter of drawing.

plattenbaustudio, an architecture and drawing studio based in Berlin

and founded by Irish architects Jennifer O’Donnell and Jonathan Janssens, were

appointed for the task. In the end, they have made four drawings. Each one is set to

the cardinal directions of north, south, east and west. The collection of four comprise

a single set of ‘City Drawings’, reaching out far beyond the walls that had bounded

the Grangegorman site for so long. They are axonometric projections; two-dimensional

representations of three-dimensional places. Despite their almost cartoonish

appearance, they are constructed with incredible accuracy, patience and judgement.

The drawings are inscribed with the Masterplan vision of James Mary

O’Connor, John Mitchell and their teams – along with the built and lived experience of

the emerging changes on site over recent years. They are a design tool, to ensure that

collective decisions today are consistent with the aims and objectives established by

the Masterplan. They are also a register of an evolving context as the GDA progresses

the various programmes of building works through an increasingly uncertain future.

They are not construction documents; rather navigational charts which make a safe

place to test ideas.

The drawings include buildings and places already built, those under

construction and those for which there are very well developed plans underway. They

also include trees, grass, paths, pavements, walls, lampposts and the spaces between

buildings – Public Goods.

This ‘space between’ includes sites for public art. The axe-supporting

tree from Alice Maher’s The Axe (and the Waving Girl) is drawn from survey, as is the

cascading ground of Clodagh Emoe’s Crocosmia ×, and more recently THE GOLDEN

BANDSTAND – Sculpture by Garrett Phelan.

plattenbaustudio, City Drawing North (Extract).

For full version to go https://ggda.ie/urban-quarter/city-drawings

These drawings are a work in progress, and always will be.

They are publically accessible records, freely available from the GDA

website. The GDA offers them to the City, in the hope that they are useful to those

interested in the art of practice, and that which draws us together.

They represent an act of public negotiation; between the past and present,

the actual and the possible, and between the public and art.



Index

INDEX 200–201

Aesthetics Group, The 106–109

Aspire Ireland 172

Aosóg 182

Barry, Orla 105

Beattie, David 83

Beattie, John 139

Benson, Ciarán 12–14

Bí Urban 154–159

Bradóg Regional Youth

Service 12

Brocklebank, Caitríona 80

Brokentalkers 121–125

Búrca, Ella de 140

Burke, Karl 141

Burke, Mary 80

Burt-O’Dea, Kaethe 155–159

Byrne, Oisín 70–75

Carr, Alexandra 53–57

Casey, Ger 22–23

Cassels, Leslie 177

Caviston, Paul 105

Clark, Elaine 163

Create 124

Cregan, Brian 181–185

Corcoran, Kieran 90–92

Counihan, Alan 79

Curran, Ann 183

Davidson, Janine 84–89

D7 Educate Together 111–115,

135–141

Dockrell, Derek 26–28

Doyle, Jeanette 107

Doyle, Roger 105

Dunne, Dermot 164

Ellis, Kate 163

Emoe, Clodagh 110–115

FitzPatrick, David 36–38

Fitzpatrick, Gemma 80

Gannon, Fiona 136–141

Gerrard, Joy 70–75

Gillen, Aidan 104

Gorey, Helena 81

Graham, John 71–75

Groener, Anita 95–98

Guinan, Paul 143–147

Guy, Jennie 136–141

Haugh, Louis 136, 186–191

Haughey, Anthony 184

Haughton, Jenny 10–11

Henri, Christina 127–129

Henrietta Adult Community

Education 86–89, 172–173

Hensey, Maree 175–179

Hichem 95, 97

Holohan, Marie 80

Kennedy, Christina 76–79

Khan, Hina 95, 97

Kids’ Own Publishing

Partnership 176–177

Maher, Alice 76

Martin, Fergus 64–69, 83

Masterson, Bernie 131–135

Merriman, Julie 82

McAdam, Trish 100–105

McCoy, Aisling 143–147

McDonnell, Justine 30–35

McIvor, Charlotte 121–124

McManus, Luke 116–118

Millar, Leah 91

Mitchell, John 24–25

Mok, Judith 160–163

Moynihan, Mary 168–171

Murphy, Ailbhe 124

Murray, Hilary 149–153

Muthi, Sara 32–33

Nala 95, 97

National Museum of Ireland,

Collins Barracks 84–89

Nugent, Geraldine 184

O’Carroll, Cathy 107

O’Connor, James Mary 25

O’Donnell, Nathan 187–189

O’Hara, Mick 107

O’Keeffe, Clare Anne, 148–153

O’Loughlin, Michael 162

Phelan, Alan 30–45

Phelan, Garrett 47–51

Phoenix Care Centre 71–75

Phibsboro Active Retirement

Association 89

Pre-Texts 16–21

Primary Care Centre 78–83

Prior, Aisling 71–75

Rialto Youth Project 121–125

Ring, Paul 184–185

Roth, Nick 164

Safi, Nasir El 95–97

Saaritsa, Maire 163

Scanlon, Emmett 142–147

Sex, Naomi 137, 140–141

Sherwin, Marc 102, 105

Síol, An 188

Smashing Times 166–173

Smith, Dorothy 82, 192–197

Smith, Kevin 93

Sommer, Doris 17–21

Sreenan, Conor 198–199

St. Gabriel’s National

School 89

St. Paul’s CBS (Brunner)

77, 115, 137–141, 17–171, 172–173

Step-by-Step 182

Staniford, Katie 92

Vaughan, Connell 107

Warren, George 76–77

Walker and Walker 58–63

Whelan, Fiona 125

Williams, Dominica 163



Acknowledgements

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 202–203

‘…the lives we live’ – extract

from ‘Dreams of a Summer Night’,

New Collected Poems (2011),

by kind permission of the

author, Derek Mahon, and The

Gallery Press.

Artists, writers and communities

for generous engagement

throughout.

The Public Art Working Group

Current – Ciarán Benson (Chair)

Jenny Haughton (Public Art

Coordinator), Robert Ballagh,

Kieran Corcoran, Anita Groener,

Derek Dockrell, Christina

Kennedy, John Mitchell, Jacquie

Moore, Ruairí Ó’Cuív, Nora

Rahill, Terry Prendergast. Past

– Ronan Doyle, Vanessa Fielding,

Eleanor Masterson, Caroline

Peppard, David Thomson.

Grangegorman Development Agency

Past and present – Board,

Chairs, Chief Executives, Senior

Management and the entire GDA

Team. In particular, Nora Rahill,

Ronan Doyle and Lori Keeve.

Health Service Executive

HSE Senior Management, Staff,

Architects, Estates, Operations

and Care Teams, including

the staff in the Primary Care

Centre, Phoenix Care Centre, and

the team responsible for the HSE

Residential Care Neighbourhood.

TU Dublin

The President, Campus Planning,

Senior Management, Staff,

Schools, and students. In

particular Dr Noel O’Connor,

Dr Paul Horan, and TU Dublin

Estates for the continued care

of the artworks. With regard to

the Public Art Now Conference:

Kieran Corcoran, Grainne

Coughlan and the School of

Creative Arts.

Communities

The Bradóg Regional Youth

Service, Grangegorman Area Based

Childhood Project, City of

Dublin Education and Training

Board Education Service to

Prisons, Complex Youth Theatre,

Common Ground Arts Organisation,

Dublin Adult Learning Centre,

Dublin Writer’s Centre,

Glencree Centre for Peace &

Reconciliation, Henrietta Street

Alternative School, Independent

Artists and Storytellers, MOST

Garda Youth Diversion Project,

National College of Art and

Design, North West Inner City

Network Gateway Project, Pathway

Centre, Primary and Secondary

Schools in the Grangegorman

Area, St. Michael’s Family

Resource Centre, Wheatfield

Prison Education Unit, An Síol,

National Museum of Ireland

Collins Barracks, The Honorable

Society of King’s Inns.

Architects

Heneghan Peng Architects,

Shih-Fu Peng, Glenn O’Brien,

and Simona Yonkova; joint

design team Valerie Mulvin,

Mulvin McCullough Architects

and TODD Architects; Feilden

Clegg Bradley Studios and

Simon Carter.

Additional Funders and Support-In-Kind

Dublin City Council Arts Grants;

The Ireland Funds; Office of

Public Works; Irish Museum of

Modern Art.

Selection Panels

Campus – Ciarán Benson, Anita

Groener, Katerina Gregos, Des

McMahon, Clíodhna Shaffrey. TU

Dublin Central Quad – Brian Fay,

Simon Carter, Ciáran Benson,

Derek Dockrell, Christina

Kennedy, Gerard Byrne, Luke

McManus. HSE Residential Care

Neighbourhood – Derek Dockrell,

Valerie Mulvin, Ciarán Benson,

Christina Kennedy, Gerard Byrne,

Luke McManus, Brian Fay. TU

Dublin West Quad – Shih-Fu Peng,

Ciarán Benson, Derek Dockrell,

Christina Kennedy, Brian Fay,

Gerard Byrne, Luke McManus.

Selection Panels for 17

Community-based Arts Projects

Panel 1 – Ruairí O’Cuív, David

Jacques, Michael Kilbride,

Martin McKeith, Sarah Pierce.

Panel 2 – Caroline Cowley,

Michael O’Loughlin, Emeka

Okakpu, Denis Roche, Clíona

Doris. Panel 3 – Gaynor Seville,

Dorothy Smith, Pádraig Naughton,

Niamh O’Connor Orla McDonagh.

Panel 4 – Michael O’Loughlin,

Patrick Sutton, Clíodhna

Shaffrey, Kathleen McCann,

Michael Dempsey. Panel 5 – Anna

MacLeod, Gráinne Foy, Brian

Nolan, Terry Prendergast,

Nora Rahill.

HSE Primary Care Centre

Brian Fay, Helen O’Donoghue,

Regina Byrnes, Derek Dockrell,

Dominic Thorpe.

Pre-Texts Panel

Vanessa Fielding, Gráinne

Foy, Siobhán Geoghegan,

Jenny Haughton, Kathleen

McCann, Julie Stafford.

HSE Phoenix Care Centre

Michelle Browne, David Clarke,

Derek Dockrell, Ronan Doyle,

Mary Grehan, Eleanor Masterson,

Sarah Searson, Ruairí Ó’Cuív.

Grangegorman Arts Strategy (2012) authors

Sarah Searson and Claire

Nidecker.



Grangegorman Today, October 2020. Photo: Barrow Coakley Photography


A Note to the Reader Jenny Haughton ‘…the lives we live’ Grange

Bradóg Regional Youth Service Making It: Cities Unde

for This Old Town Ger Casey Grangegorman Development Agen

O’Connor Caring at Grangegorman Past Present and Future D

Rule of Silence Justine McDonnell Sara Muthi In the 2

University in the City and in the Wider World? Prof. David Fitz

of an Archive Alan Phelan THE GOLDEN BANDSTAND – Sculptu

Clegg Bradley Studios Central Quad Endless Play Wa

The Blue of the Sky, The Green of the Grass, The Red of a Rose

Architects Residential Care Neighbourhood Phoen

Byrne Long Live the Weeds and the Wilderness Yet John Gra

Christina Kennedy Alice Maher George Warren O

Primary Care Centre David Beattie Caitríona Brockle

Fitzpatrick Helena Gorey Martin & Hobbs Julie Me

National Museum of Ireland St. Gabriel’s Nati

Phibsboro Active Retirement Association TU Dub

El Safi Hina Khan Hichem Nala Anita Groener

The Aesthetics Group Jeanette Doyle Cathy O’Carroll

Grangegorman Luke McManus What Does He Need? Broken

Charlotte McIvor Wear a Bonnet – Living Art Installation Chr

Prison Service The Masterplan and I’ll Be In Your Camp: Will

Karl Burke Naomi Sex D7 Educate Together St. Pa

Aisling McCoy Paul Guinan Grown Home Clare Ann

Bí Urban 1916: A Revolutionary Cabaret! Judith Mok Kate

Dermot Dunne Elaine Clark Michael O’Loughlin

Celebration of the Centenary Vote for Women Mary Moynihan

Chroí To Be. To Wallow. To Wonder. Maree Hensey Kid’s Ow

Education The Glass Garden Brian Cregan Aosóg Step

Archive Louis Haugh Nathan O’Donnell An Síol

Sreenan plattenbaustudio

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