Installation Art about
Memory, Trauma & Migration
2000 - 2008
site-contextual, The Linen Memorial is a counter-monument to all those killed in the Northern Ireland sectarian conflict, 1960s to recent years
At each site, The Memorial is unveiled in a different architectonic configuration.
Exhibited numerous times since 2001 in U.K., U.S.A. and Australia. Canada Council of Arts funded.
Almost 400 Irish linen handkerchiefs, approx 1 sq. ft each, printed and embroidered, 2001 -7.
Thank you to contributors: volunteer embroiderers. Each name takes an hour to hand embroider.
|Click a thumbnail to view an enlargement|
If you would like to know more about The Linen Memorial, please see: Counter-monument to those killed in The Troubles.
PAST/FUTURE: Handkerchiefs of Hope
Photo-Media landscape series of North Belfast residents with handkerchiefs (linen & cut/folded paper)
Artwork and images are related
to The Linen Memorial
|Photograph included with permission from Thomas and James Allen.
HOME SWEET HOME
Collaborative video work with Brian Kennedy, 2006
Exhibited in Taiwan, February 2007.
Brian Kennedy is a Northern Ireland Installation-Performance Artist and CIRCA contributing Writer.
Home Sweet Home was shown as a looped projection for gallery installation
EXCAVATION OF BEING AT REST: MAKE DO AND MEND
Various materials including plastic bodybag and men's blazer, MDF board, linen string, casting wax, oil, galvanised steel tray
'Artspace' Sydney, The Gunnery Residency 2004-5
Video-Editor: J. Zutt
Flash Video : 1min 30secs : 3.04 MB
MAKE DO & MEND
Photographs: Therese Sweeney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.
|Click a thumbnail to view an enlargement|
'Waters of Life'
Lycia Trouton, site-sculptor
for Horsehead with 'Survivors of Trauma' & 'interface' neighbourhood youth, Funded by British Columbia Arts
Council July 1999.
'Waters of Life' Land Art and Public Art Event Statement
The stairway and adjacent slopes act as a link between two old reservoirs which once provided water for The City of Belfast. Hence, the name of the park: Waterworks.
Swans and other waterfowl inhabit the area. The Waterworks is located in an
‘interface’ area - a politically sensitive neighbourhood off the Antrim Road - in North Belfast, Northern Ireland.
North Belfast experienced a high degree of violence and urban migration, due to the increased segregation of people-of-perceived-political-differences (Protestants/Loyalists
and Catholics/Republicans), during Northern Ireland’s Troubles,
1969 - 1998. This is the area in which my maternal grandparents and great aunt lived from 1945 until their natural deaths in the mid-1980s. Terrifying violence was a part of ‘normal’ life in areas of Belfast during the 1970s and 80s.
I also lived in this area with my parents and sister until we immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, 1970 (I was aged 3 years old).
Thus, the ‘Waters-of-Life’ was a short-term, low-budget outdoor art installation created from 1)
cutting repeated horizontal zig-zags into the grassy slope of either side of the steps of the
embankment to symbolise the universal healing power of water; 2) the concrete stairwell itself
was painted in a gradation of blue and green to reference the metaphor of ‘water’; 3) words
were painted on the stair risers. These words on the upper and lower risers were taken from
mythological places of paradise:
- Shambala, The Heavens, Elysium, Eden, Paradise,
Shangri-La Utopia, Avalon, Nirvana,
These are the various names of fictional utopian lands. I wanted to produce a sense of wonderment in the viewer’s minds (young and elderly people who frequented the park). I wished that people might ask themselves, “ Why does the grass always seem greener ‘over the hill/over the rainbow’ or why do people seem so extremely different on the other side of the political divide?”…Another question the
artwork might pose was “What exactly is the nature of contentment or a peaceful state of mind, our idea of Paradise?”
By posing questions about paradise, I was asking visitors to the park to consider a future of their own imagining and to think less superficially and/or concretely about people or places immediately in front of them. For example, I could not bring myself to directly answer various children’s questions upon meeting me: The question of ‘What street are you from in North Belfast,
miss?’ is almost an ordinary greeting in Belfast. Instead, through the artwork, I challenged them to ask different or more imaginative questions to strangers.
The words on the middle risers were from a quote by a well-known Irish community
activist, Stanislaus Kennedy, ‘We return home as a drop of water returns as rain to the sea from which it was born.’ These words are based on the theme of water.
As a person climbs the stairs, they could be actively engaged in being reminded of their inter-connectedness with each other and all of nature in a beautiful park setting.
My hope with the text was a message of hope for the interface community(ies) about an expanded notion of identity, such as ‘Who am I?’ in relation to one’s surroundings.
The stairwell beckons us to ascend/descend and to contemplate the thought, ‘Where is my life is going?’; we are each on individual journeys
which intersect with one another and the environment around us.