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green below shouting: ‘Let them fly high!’ All of the pigeons were released at the
Footnote
same time. They circled above us in the sky, before flying back to their homes within
1. The project was kindly supported by Dublin City Council community projects award, a number of
a five mile radius of the club.
Ballymun based businesses, Musgrave retail services, Lisney property and Sika Ireland. The project
was also generously supported in kind by many including Dermott Byrne of Speedi Snaps, who
By recording and liberating these wishes I wanted to facilitate the communication printed my photographs throughout the project. The design of the publication was generously
of the feelings of a community undergoing a period of geographical and emotional
supported by Atelier David Smith and Oran Day. This document was integral in terms of creating a
upheaval, bringing together individuals to create a collective response. The visual
legacy for this project.
aesthetic of the flock of birds quietly navigating the sky above, carrying the wishes
of those below, was really very moving. From my perspective, this experience
offered some repose and collective hope for the future.
The event was documented by video by six kind friends. This film was later shown at
an exhibition at the Axis Arts Centre, Ballymun, along with photographs and an
award winning publication, all documenting the project and its process. The
exhibition aimed to present, articulate and reflect on the process of our
collaboration. The opening night was a successful collective framework that The Ballymun Homing Pigeon Club
brought our collaboration to a natural conclusion. The pigeon club held a young
Ballymun Pigeon Club has been in existence since 1974. Its existing premises is B56, B57
pigeon auction at the Axis Arts Centre, where the pigeon fancying community from
Shangan Road, Ballymun. There are 32 members in the club. The Pigeon Club is
the wider Dublin area came to buy young pigeons for breeding. This intersection of
accredited the first eight in the Irish South Road Pigeon Federation (ISRPF). Ballymun
people and interests meant that the project was presented as a collaborative
Pigeon Club regularly organise social and fund raising events with annual pigeon
project, presenting both our interests equally. The video of Home was screened in a
shows and auctions. The secretary of the Club is Tommy Nelson.
pigeon loft in the gallery and the loft was auctioned later that night. The club raised
a3000 at the event, which was, by coincidence, the same amount that we had
received from the Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme to give our
project ‘wings’.
Needless to say, the experience of working through this project has had a
considerable impact on my art practice to date. This was the first project that I
undertook in a community context and it opened up a whole new practice as an
artist and a new way of working for me within the public domain. The tangible
outcomes of this project are the awards won for the publication Home including a
gold ICAD (Irish Creative Advertising and Design) award in 2004. It represented
Ireland in the Art Directors Club Europe ACDE awards 2004 and also won the ‘Irish
print award’ printed by Wood Print Craft 2004. And then there is a pigeon named
Rhona that won a pigeon race from Ireland to France in 2004.
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