Heartland / Hearth-land (WIP 2020-2021)

This work in progress is concerned with female members of the Irish diaspora living in England and is engaged with representational imagery and personal testimony from the Irish community ensuring the collective response to histories of migration. The women were photographed and interviewed about their experience of being Irish in London, their reasoning for emigrating and their thoughts about what home means to them. Interview questions were concerned with traditional ethnographic qualitative interview technique, using unstructured interview and prompts. The women were also interviewed about a particular object that had some significance to them and to Ireland. The women were filmed interacting with these objects, to show the haptic engagement of the subject with the object.

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Mary Duggan photographed at home in Enfield
All Ireland hurling final, Waterford and Kilkenny, late 1950s, archival family photograph
Mairead’s father and his secondary school class, archival family photograph
Mairead’s father in Switzerland, archival family photograph
Mairead, her uncle Sean and her father, archival family photograph
Still life of Mairead’s grandmother’s passport
Portrait of Mairead Ni Cheonin, Pimlico, March 2019
Victorian writing box
Medals that were sent home to Ireland from Breda’s uncle who was a priest in Malta
Imitation bog oak locket that was taken to England from Ireland with a lock of hair in it
Breda’s handmade Repealed necklace, made on the occasion of the repealing of the 8th Amendment to the Consitution of Ireland, July 2016
Portrait of Breda Corish, taken in Walthamstow, March 2019
Still life of Kenyan statuette, brought back from Kenya by Helen’s uncle
Portrait of Helen Healy, taken in Clerkenwell, May 2019
Portrait of Ciara MacFarland, taken in Walthamstow, July 2020
Ciara’s Claddagh ring
Portrait of Laura Haynes, taken in Leigh on Sea, July 2020
Triptych of portraits of Laura’s Celtic and 32-county republic tattoos