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Grainne McInerney
Helena Duffy
Hollie Delaney

Ireland has a long tradition of connection to land. What does ‘home’ mean in Irish culture today?

We seek to represent the physical and metaphysical idea of home through a short film and installation. Home, connection and a sense of place have always been important to the members of this group. Living in Dublin, the effects of the housing crisis are especially visible. Cranes, homelessness and derelict sites litter the landscape and further its descent into a placeless society. It is the Government’s responsibility to provide the basic human right of adequate housing, yet they have failed us. There is an absence of heart in Government policy and practice documents and we aim to capture a sense of humanity the documents lack. Our derelict site visits and community interactions brought the community voice to the fore. With Covid 19 impacting the gallery as a physical exhibition space, we decided to archive the research in a film, which is accessible for all globally and with whom this issue resonates.

Central to the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland campaign is the Five Pillar action plan. We aim to symbolically replace these pillars with our own, based on values we felt were missing from the policy document. We have attributed these values to objects that held symbolic and spiritual significance when traditionally choosing a site on which to build a home. Coal, holy water, salt, coins and iron amulets adopt a new meaning; each with its own descriptor, a value and a statistic about the housing crisis.

Alongside the installation is our short film, ‘Void’, which refers to the name given by city councils to empty social houses needing refurbishment. The imagery in the film is a juxtaposition of then and now, moving from present to past showing a shift from the true values of ‘home’ to a greater focus on construction for economic growth. A blank site notice represents the existing derelict sites and the impact these notices can have on a community.

Both the film and objects serve as a lieu de mémoire (site of memory) as their digital archiving will preserve the collective memory of this moment in time along with the symbolism, materiality, functionality of the objects.

We fully support the Home for Good campaign which calls for a referendum on Article 43 of the constitution ( Special thanks to the National Folklore collection, RTE, British Movieline, Lorcan Film Unit and Stoneybatter Radio for archive imagery and audio.