Sunday, 22 May 2016


The chq Building on Dublin's Custom House quay has recently being transformed  once more as times and peoples tastes change. From 19th century stack house, to  a Celtic Tiger born shopping mall in the early 2000's,  to a mixed use space including some retail, cultural spaces, and a very large tech co-working space called Dog Patch Labs. The most recent addition is Epic Ireland, which offers visitors Dublins most immersive visitor experience  as they explore the unique global journey of the Irish people.
It was with that in mind that the management of the chq building were approached and the idea of hosting a show of On Leaving was floated by my partner/producer Carole Caprani.  The team there were enthusiastic. It was felt that a certain amount of synergy could be harnessed by both exhibits which are indeed  proving to be complimentary.  The work was hung on Saturday and Sunday the 14th and 15th of May by Ian Monahan and Adam Abuzenan and the show opened it's doors to the public the following day.  I was in the USA for this first few days, (more about that in the next few posts), but returned on Friday morning in time for the opening reception which happened between 17.30 and 20.00 that evening. 
I was delighted that Irish Times journalist and curator of the blog Generation Emigration, Ciara Kenny enthusiastically accepted my invitation to open the show and she made some very good points about the common ground we share in telling the story of the individual. I would echo that our position is very important in  the age when people  are fed generalisations about things such as migration, migrant culture and the realities of modern life.  Series like Generation Emigration and indeed my work play an important part of debunking the myths spun out in other areas of the media 
which paint a monotone picture of our society. Testimony featured on Generation Emigration has played an important part in keeping the absent present in our  national consciousness  and for that we should all be very grateful.  

On the night although slightly jet lagged I really enjoyed showing the work to guests who had never seen the work before, and introducing the other strands of the piece to those who were only familiar with the leaving Dublin Series.  Indeed I have had three full days already in the space talking endlessly with enthusiastic viewers of the work who in some cases only ventured into chq just to get a bite to eat. In fact, nipping into chq for a bite to eat should be the start point.The work should be something there to  be discovered and in this location I am delighted to be the perfect filling to a lunchtime sandwich treat. There are indeed some great places to eat in the building and everyday the concourse is filled with happy workers from the offices and businesses close by doing just that.  I suggest you join them over the next two weeks and finish lunch off with a look at at ON LEAVING,  and maybe even a visit to the vaults which now house EPIC, the story of our diaspora and how it has shaped the world in which we live.
Big thanks to Paul Mc Carthy for the photos (I owe you one for sure) and to all who turned up on the night. I really appreciate it. Tune in here over the next few weeks for some tales of adventure. Please share and comment on this post below and get your friends together and go for a bite in the chq and drop in for a long (or short) discussion  with me, I will be there till 4th June 11.00 - 16.00 daily..

Thanks again to all

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