The Street – Art in Context
6 February – 3 March 2017




Young artists were encouraged to consider, how an artwork is created in/for the context of Thomas Street and its environments. From their research the participants noted a variety of ways to understand the street. Young artists were now challenged by what happens when a sculptural object or action is placed into the public sphere. How is it read? How does it change the environment and how does the environment changes it? How can it effect or generate particular patterns of behaviour (engagement/participation) with the users of the street?

Workshop Objectives


To introduce young artists to methods and issues relating to producing & presenting work in a public context.

To introduce young artists to contextual methodologies and considerations utilised by contemporary artists in constructing/staging/realising public artworks.

To develop skills in working through performance and the use of the body in art making as well as deploying and enhancing existing material skills on and for the street.

To question ideas of audience, spectator, collaborator, participant and users of the street vis-a-vis the art work they make and what kind of relationships these works create.

Conformity by Saoirse Walsh


My work explores the body and the ephemeral nature of the human condition. I am captivated by the endless aesthetic and formal possibilities of the materiality of the human body. Flesh like in colour and ambiguously figurative, I removed any obvious signs of identity. This formless blob of flesh is genderless, naked and vulnerable as it hangs caught in barbed wire. It is a critique on the societal standards and constructs that have been placed on the body and how we have conformed to these ideals of beauty. I wanted to create a form that does not follow logical criteria, but is based on subjective associations. It incites the viewer to question the abstract object they are looking at and challenges the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other.



Eye Infection by Ali Farrelly


I roamed Thomas Street one afternoon photographing sacks of rubbish and looking for one to borrow, so to speak. Eventually I chose one that somehow jumped out at me. Getting a sense that I had hit the jackpot with this sack, I hauled it to a black room in a small gallery space. I wanted this bag to enable me to become a forensic detective. Through this anonymous individual’s discarded items I painted a bizarre, vivid and specific picture of them; their characteristics, social life, habits, failures, ambitions and ailments. I analysed this bag thoroughly. Labeling everything, I recorded each item and recorded myself vocally pairing each article with a characteristic of this supposed woman as I carefully unloaded the white sack. When I initially showed this video of the sack’s investigation I used its duration to return to this lady’s home and place her refilled bag back where I found it. Except this time, her items of rubbish were eerily labelled.


Touch Sanitation II by Gary Reilly


I have had the life experience of 20 years working in manual labour, and this experience forms the basis of how I make art and what I research as part of the process of making. These enquiries explore both the social and emotional consequences of work in traditional working class areas of manual labour. It is through this interest and life experience that I have been drawn to the people that work in the Dublin Street Sweeping depot located in Dublin 8. Having a background in manual labour helps me identify with the men that work there.

Culture confers lousy status on maintenance work and is usually invisible to those who rely on it but do not do it themselves. In attempting to highlight this type of labour, I paid homage to the public performance work of

Maria Laderman Ukeles entitled ‘Touch Sanitation’ from 1979. This work focuses on concepts of interconnection, maintenance and granting service workers respect and dignity. This was an eleven month endeavor in which Ukeles shook hands with some 8500 New York sanitation employees and said, “Thank you for keeping New York city alive”. In paying homage to this work I aim to highlight these concerns nearly 40 years later in contemporary society with an increasingly, performance based capitalism.On March 3, I enacted the concepts behind this work by inviting my fellow students from the sculpture department of NCAD, to shake hands and say ‘thank you’ to the workers employed in our district of Dublin 8 to keep our streets clean.


City Motto by Helena Duffy


My piece for IPIP was inspired by the current Dublin City motto, “Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas” which translates as “The Obedience of the citizens produces a happy city”. Although this has been our official city motto for over 400 years, I only came across it when it was pointed out to me during the IPIP research project. It grasped my attention significantly so I decided to create a piece that would make people aware of this motto, since it is speaking for us as the citizens of Dublin. I wanted to give people the opportunity to share their opinions and propose a new motto that is true to what we stand for.


Verbal Execution – Elayne Harrington


On the 3rd of March 2017 at 12 noon, the first Verbal Execution of the gallows series took place in front of St Catherine’s Church, Thomas Street, Dublin 8. St. Catherine’s Church is the place where rebel leader Bold Robert Emmet was hanged under British rule. The performance/activist event hosted by Elayne Harrington (Temper-Mental MissElayneous), a 2nd year student of Sculpture & Expanded Practice. The spectacle featured the politic, the vocal, the verbally audacious, Moore Street activist Diarmuid Breatnach and Harrington in oration high upon the gallows tree, constructed by the artist and coach maker John Kavanagh.


Back in Dublin, 2017 by Erin Redmond


Back In Dublin was an event held at a disused pub on Francis Street where The Project Arts Centre held an offsite project by Tina O’Connell in 1999 called In Dublin. In Dublin was an intervention in the space that engaged people both socially and with their surrounding space as they gathered and placed bets on when a sphere of bitumen falling down through the ceiling would reach the pub floor.

I became interested in the building, its history and its potential future during the In Public In Particular project because even though the building is zoned as “mixed use” and should be providing some kind of service or facility for the local area, over the last 18 years it has been left to fall into dereliction. When I found out that Tina O’Connell was coming back to Dublin I saw it as an opportunity to invite her back to the space and to resurrect the past through an intervention of my own. A black plastic sphere supported by a steel frame was erected at the event to resurrect the memory of the bitumen sphere and to reference the steel bars which were installed onto the building in 2009 to prevent its imminent collapse. As Tina O’Connell recounted her memories of In Dublin and the building as it once was to the gathered crowd, white carpeted steps allowed people to look inside the building at the site as it exists in the present.

The “happening” brought people together to look back into the past, to experience the present and to think about the future.


Thomas Street

Artists and art students