Made with inhabitant-participants, who generously allowed us into their homes, and others who made contributions, Home on the Grange was made for and with the community of the Grangegorman Neighbourhood.
Through Home on the Grange we initially sought to acknowledge and reveal aspects of how people make home in this part of Dublin. We understood the processes and practices of how people live at home as creative, and considered them a key part of the story of how we all plan, organise, design, occupy and use the places we call home.
As the project developed we made home-visits in a variety of building types, heard stories, made photographs, shared newspapers, held concerts, and, in doing so, our understanding of what home is and what it means in this place and to its people evolved.
Home on the Grange underlined that having a home is critical to our identity and essential to us sustaining connections to our friends and family. A home is a key ally in our negotiations across those human thresholds between me and you, us and them, inside and out. A home enables us to be confident, to step into the world, to participate in our community and to both share and take back our city.
And though we worked locally, Home on the Grange was not made in a vacuum. Our thinking was inevitably influenced by the brutal reality of our failure to afford so many citizens the opportunity to make a home for her or himself.
The presentation of photographs of what are typically private homes in a very public way at five sites In the neighbourhood is intended as both acknowledgement and evidence of the resilience of individuals who make home to survive. It is an invitation to allow notions and realities of home inform our thinking when we design, we build, we use. A home is many things to many people, but for us all, a home is right.
Objects mean things. At home we gather and collect, we keep and we appropriate. We place things on a window, beside our bed, hang pictures on the walls, we collect elephants.
We do not crave things as much as we do connections. Objects are things we offer and we share, things we exchange and leave behind. They are the glue that bind our relationships to family and friends, across time and countries.
The home is a place of production. At home we imagine, we speculate, nurture, create and provide. A home is sometimes a place to gather and prepare before we reveal our thoughts and ideas – fragile extensions of ourselves – to the outside, public world.
The home is noisy. Home is place of laughter, of play and of music. We expand boundaries, stretch our mind and muscle. We gather to sing, to tumble or watch the match, watched over by our heroes.
(The colour here is kindly made possible by COLOURTREND.)
Walls are physical and material thresholds between room and room, inside and out, public and private, park and city. They are sites of self-expression as well as sites of sometimes sinister control and often dark limits.
Walls come to represent isolation or loneliness, and while supporting the roof above our heads they can still feel like real and conceptual barriers to our well-being and our engagement with the world.
But walls are also places for display, decoration, exuberance, pattern and colour. We hang pictures and make galleries of our unfolding projects, lives and stories, looking back, going forth – helping us hold it all together.
Home on the Grange is a public art project and a collaboration between Emmett Scanlon, Aisling McCoy, and Paul Guinan, and inhabitant-participants of the Grangegorman Neighbourhood. Photographs and texts from the project are on display in five sites in Dublin 7 and 9 from October 11th to November 12th 2018.