The Map of Connections 3.1



During many surveys I discovered that the Irish Border is often perforated. Gates are set in hedgerows for the convenience of farmers, stepping stones and community-built bridges span rivers, walkers’ routes and muddy by-ways go wherever they please. These kinds of connections have always been there, although I think it is fair to say that their numbers have increased during the Peace Process. Roads blocked or cratered during the Troubles are being re-connected at a rate too fast for the Ordnance Survey to keep up with. On the local level cross-border movement is quietly happening. It has been unmapped, until now.


Detail from The Map of Connections 3.1


Detail from The Map of Connections 3.1

The Map of Connections 3.1 is 60 x 85 cm. It is in an edition of fifty. I use giclée printing, an inkjet technique using fade-resistant, pigment-based archival inks. The map is printed onto cotton paper.


Fictional Ulster



If you spend a few hours reading about a fictional place, doesn’t it become as real as places that actually exist? Perhaps more real? Ballybeg, the fictitious setting for Brian Friel’s plays, is more famous than most real villages in Ulster. Despite not existing, the village has taken on a geographic life.

This map covers the nine counties of Ulster, locating fictional places invented by writers. I attempted to make a map that is entertaining and intriguing but that might also offer an insight into how we see ourselves and how others see us.

The Map of Connections Detail 1
Detail from Fictional Ulster

The Map of Connections Detail 2
Detail from Fictional Ulster

The Map of Connections Detail 2
Detail from Fictional Ulster

Fictional Ulster is 50 x 60 cm. It is in an edition of fifty. I use giclée printing onto cotton paper.

The Map of Watchful Architecture 2.0

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This map charts defensive architecture along the border. The 1st century Black Pig’s Dyke and Dorsey correspond with today’s border. The concentration of souterrains in north Louth indicate that it may have been a volatile interface zone in later centuries. In 1618 Londonderry and its walls were built. Further north and two centuries later, Martello Towers were constructed to watch over Lough Foyle. During the Second World War pillboxes and observation posts were staffed along the border, close to what was now an international frontier. Then came the Operation Banner installations built during the Troubles. All this adds up to be one of the longest unbroken traditions of defensive architecture anywhere in Western Europe, a tradition some thought finally broken as the last of the Operation Banner towers were de-installed in 2007. But, take a bus south across the Border and you will often be pulled over by the Garda Síochána. They ID check the passengers in an attempt to stop illegal immigration via the UK. What about illegal immigrants who walk through the fields or along quiet lanes? They will have understood the border is not really how it looks on most maps. Not a solid line, it is a row of points.

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Detail from The Map of Watchful Architecture 2.0

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Detail from The Map of Watchful Architecture 2.0

The Map of Watchful Architecture 2.0 is 100 x 82 cm. It is in an edition of fifty.



 


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