This body of work comprises sculpture, installations in derelict houses, photographs, artist’s documents and ‘gatherings’.

Migration has always been with us – people moving in search of work and good land.  In contemporary Western Society, this migration occurs from rural places to urban areas and from peripheral regions to more central locations.  This process means that some isolated rural areas suffer a de-population process as young people leave for education and jobs.  Land is left fallow, houses are abandoned and fall derelict, villages become ghosts towns.

In this work, the theme of ‘Absence’ expresses the effects of this de-population.  The abandoned houses signify ‘leaving’ as a way of life.  The gatherings are the mementoes, the impressions, the traces left behind.

The installations made in the derelict houses act as a homage to that deserted home.  In these installations, the images used are of shadows, of impressions of people.  Only the materials present in the house are used in the work and as little disturbance as possible is made.

 The ‘Documents’are letter from the empty house.  The words tell the story of what is happening to the house since it was deserted.  The colours are used to represent the marks made by the lives that were once lived there.  They re fragments, snippets of information left behind as evidence.
‘Gathering’is an attempt to preserve this evidence.  Broken crockery, rusty implements, glass shards, discarded by the leavers as part of the old life that is gone, become the treasures of the preserver.  Similarly, the photographs hoard images of what is there at a given time and retain it for the future.

Here Lies a Place of Dreams.  This work uses a room which I distinctly felt had been the bedroom of a young girl.  I considered all the times she might have dreamed of growing up, o going away to make her own life, and where that life would have been.  I placed wild flowers, gathered from the hedgerows around the house, in the existing fire place and set the stones for the hearth.  On the wall above the fire place is written “here lies the place of dreams”.

Shoes.  Made as part of the work at Ballinglen, these shoes are cast using cement, PVA and scrim.  They are hollow with no soles to the shoe.  I made a mould using my own walking boots.  The underlying issue reflects my constant concern with the human relationship with the land.  The shoes carry the mark of work and stand as a record of the struggle with the land.