‘Earwig’ Poem

My poem ‘Earwig’ and a corresponding photograph were included in the In Place photo book, published in October 2016 to accompany an exhibition in Tara Street, Dublin.

IN PLACE is a collective of artists working in Dublin, Ireland. They are focused on formulating a response to the disuse of space within Dublin’s urban landscape.

The collective invited artists in to disused and vacant sites in Dublin City Centre, to create site-specific reactionary work, hoping to “reveal the cultural potential of the many vacant sites that make up our city”.

Written from the P.O.V. of a young person not originally from the capital; someone who was initially dwarfed by its vastness but is still striving to carve out a home within the city. This is an experience shared by countless others, who have been to hell and back trying to secure a safe space to express or even exist as themselves amid the bustle.

The poem, although seemingly traditional in form, yearns to be essentially experimental by way of revolt. A mosaic piece partly inspired by personal experience, the current housing crisis, stories overheard, cultural sanctuary in spaces rescued, and the current My Brilliant Friend exhibition housed in ‘Temple Bar Gallery’.

At a juncture where the necessities for social and personal comfort are readily commodified, this snapshot highlights the positive and negative truisms of our position. I am interested in the tandem concerning the individual and the in-between, notions of solidarity among young creatives and renters, commenting on inner city pressures arising from fear and insecurity. The theme of space re-purposed artistically is an established seam throughout, rebelling against the neoliberal structures hemming us in, ultimately leaving breathing space for innovative flourishing.

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Copies available in The Library Project

Willie Doherty ‘Memory as a Vehicle to Survey Liminal Spaces’

Willie Doherty is a world renowned Irish artist born in Derry in 1959, and continues to work there as a Professor of Video Art in the University of Ulster. He is a much celebrated artist who represented Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2007 and twice has been nominated for the Turner Prize. Visually led, his work is comprised mainly of photographic and filmic elements, often maintaining autobiographical references. This individual expression however is by no means the primary purpose, instead Doherty is fascinated by themes of collected recollection and trauma. This article seeks to examine the voyeuristic power of his lens through recent Irish exhibitions, investigating Doherty’s utilization of memory as a device to access liminal spaces, whilst acknowledging its subjectivity.

Full article can be read on Headstuff as originally published.

Words and images by Jessica Mc Kinney.