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Home was a collaboration between artist Rhona Byrne
and members of Ballymun homing/ racing pigeon club,
Ballymun 2004
Home is a project that I undertook in collaboration with a number of residents of
Ballymun and the Ballymun homing/ racing pigeon club in 2002 to 2004. In early
2002, I was just returning to my art practice having worked for a number of years as
an architectural technician and designer. During my time working in the
construction industry I became increasingly interested in the distance between the
potential of a planning process and the reality of what was eventually realized, and
in particular what impact this process had upon the people who inhabited places
undergoing change. Home was the first manifestation of my sustained exploration
into how people experience the built environment and the layers of meaning that
places enshrine. I was also interested in the importance from a psychological
perspective to have interactions with nature when living in urban situations.
In 2002 Ballymun was four years into its hugely ambitious regeneration programme
that would involve the development of a new town for this area of Dublin. At the
same time the Per Cent for Art programme known as Breaking Ground, was inviting
open submissions from artists to make work in and about Ballymun. This seemed
the perfect situation for me to explore some of the themes above.
I set about designing a project that had a number of aims and objectives. Firstly, it
was to be a genuinely collaborative and participatory art project with the residents
of Ballymun. Secondly, it was to enable a dialogue that would highlight some of the
individual concerns of the inhabitants of Ballymun during this transitional period.
Finally, through a creative process, it was to involve collaboration with the members
of the Ballymun pigeon club, a successful community organisation, which had been
breeding and racing homing pigeons since 1974.
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