I was in the fortunate position to be invited to create a response to Hickey & Hickey's inaugural curation, House Taken Over. A site-specific show, on for one weekend only as part of Sonorities Festival, last night was the opening night.
This is a house I already know well, from dinners, Christmas parties, birthday parties, a wedding, drinking wine in the kitchen, Halloween bonfires, watching movies... So it was very different and in many ways unheimlich to consider the house itself as an entity separate from the family I know living here; a fundamentally empty space.
I was particularly inspired by three stories about the house. The first involved the house's covert purpose durung WWII as a listening post; a theory proposed by some local historuans which acted as the inspiration for the whole curation. Secondly a story that Ciara told me about how the house's previous residents used to send the house itself, rather than the family now living there, Christmas cards after they moved out. And finally a story that Elizabeth told us about a friend of theirs who, many years ago, was adamant that when she was staying in the house that she heard it say goodnight to her.
So I had a lot of rich material to draw on in creating 'The Time Of Their Coming', my response to House Taken Over, the themes it explores, and the house itself.
...One solitary afternoon
Last week Riddel's Warehouse in Belfast's city centre was re-configured as the arts fringe space at the Peace and Beyond Conference. Poetry Jukebox was in residence both in a Label Lit incarnation and as a sound installation.
A real highlights was seeing the thought-provoking messages left by visitors and writers from around the world and across the city, hanging side by side with our own micro-poems. Another was watching the film 'The Grappling Hook' made by Raymond Watson who physically scaled one of the city's peace walls, "escaping" from one ideological prison o ly to find himself in an opposite but equal prison on the otherside. A timely reminder of what unites - as well as divides - us, twenty years on from the Good Friday Agreement.