Public Art Intervention, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. 2008
"AFTER" was landmark public art event that addressed the unprecedented effects of Ireland’s recent economic boom on the rural landscape. It was initiated through the TRADE programme run by Roscommon and Leitrim arts offices and grew into an artist-led public art event.
Acclaimed international artist, Alfredo Jaar facilitated exchange and discussion between the five AFTER artists Anna MacLeod, Carol Anne Connolly, Gareth Kennedy, Alice Lyons and Christine Mackey, during a year-long engagement as part of TRADE. The project developed an alternative and innovative model for arts practice, which benefited from the artists specific knowledge of their respective locales and their shared concerns for the environment.
The scope of the five combined AFTER projects addressed diverse public’ s and locations across the Roscommon and Leitrim region. Each project manifested different strategies both in conceptualising and in engaging with the idea of the ’public’ .
The Broken Appliance Depot was a project conducted by Carol Anne Connolly whose remit was to:
• Highlight the absurdity in the lack of foresight in planning and development that has been prevalent in the last ten years.
• To comment on the waste of resources and provide information for resistance through a creative discourse, an alternative mode. The aim of the Broken Appliance Depot was to implement a system of practice to demonstrate the possibility of our initiating change. The project presented and discussed alternative and creative solutions to address the re-use of surplus objects and buildings in our communities with reference to two contested sites in the area of Boyle, Co. Roscommon.
The project consisted of two elements:
1. Light Installation in Roddy’ s Field:
This aspect of the project consisted of an eight-month engagement with the ‘Alternative Means of Power’ group, that comprised of individuals and families from the town land of Grange outside of Boyle, Co.Roscommon. This concluded with the creation of a solar powered LED light installation, to frame the view of the landscape under threat. Made from disused household light fixtures this installation acted as a temporary intervention at the site of a proposed ESB pylon in Grange, Co. Roscommon.
2. Free Workshops on a Ghost Estate
A newly developed, vacant property was used to hold free workshops and events concerned with the management of waste-material and the built environment curated by the artist and facilitated by practitioners based in the region. Its goal was to utilise diverse knowledge and services in the region to their the maximum potential by inviting members of the public, both local and regional to attend.