Port Perspectives: Artist Blog Feature, Sheelagh Broderick


Sheelagh Broderick

  1. Could you give a brief description of your project.

Port Walks is a site-specific public artwork. It is an online audio project connecting Dublin Port Seafarers with Dublin Port Walkers by providing an opportunity to engage with local surroundings through the medium of podcasts. Walkers on the Great South Wall and around Dublin Bay are invited to Download, Walk & Listen via iTunes / Stitcher & Soundcloud

 The Great South Wall at the entrance to Dublin Port is a jetty extending 2km into Dublin Bay. Ships entering Dublin Port pass adjacent to the wall. Walkers there are so close to the ships they can feel their vibrations as they move past, but although the distance is small, the gap appears unbridgeable. Listen in to find out what seafaring is like in the 21st Century.

 Part 1: Containers Changed Everything

The first podcast addresses the radical reconfiguration of contemporary shipping and seafaring in the last 50 years.

Subsequent podcasts will be uploaded to portwalks.ie/podcasts throughout Summer 2017.

  1. What reasons led you to apply to the open call?  Is there a particular interest in the port or the city within you artwork/practice/project?

In Dublin Port and Bay area the practices of walking and seafaring are carried out in close proximity, but also in parallel, they never meet. I asked myself would it be possible to use technology as a way to leverage a connection between walkers and seafarers? 

My practice develops through processes of social engagement using the materials, routines and spaces of everyday life. When observing walkers and ships it was only a matter of course to ask what is happening here? Ships entering Dublin Port can be seen from a wide number of vantage points around Dublin Bay. The ships entering and leaving become a spectacle in the everyday lives of people as they move around the city, but this gaze exists at a surface level. Little is known or appreciated about the life of the seafarers onboard. Equally walking is widely practiced in Dublin Bay and walkers can be seen everywhere along the shoreline. I wanted to think about walkers taking an intentional walk in the context of the environment in which they are walking.  

  1. How do you envision your artwork/project and its manifestations in the future?

The nice thing about podcasts is that they will exist in the cloud forever. Once uploaded they can be freely circulated and take on a life of their own. Although the work situates itself physically at the Great South Wall, you can listen from anywhere and imagine yourself in that environment and with those people who speak on the podcasts. I hope by the conclusion of the project there will be a wider appreciation of seafaring and the lived experience of seafarers.

  1. What do you hope your audience will experience with your artwork / project? 

The aesthetic of the first podcast is almost like an anti-podcast. It is slow, it is muted, it is honest and perhaps bare. it requires attention, in the way of Yoga Nidra. So if your mind wanders off you can still come back. But this is only one aspect of the project which is very much in an early stage. On Monday 1st May, I will have had a first opportunity to meet with walkers at the Great South Wall. Another event is being planned for 25th June for International Seafarers day. The project will take direction from these and other encounters, developing as the Summer progresses.


Silvia Loeffler

  1. Could you give a brief description of your project

As part of “Port Perspectives”, Transit Gateway is a project that documents the transitional changes of the shape of Dublin Port from its medieval shoreline to its current infrastructure. It is an artistic mapping cartography that will show the changing connections of the city and the port throughout the years, and how the port as a gateway creates a vital connection of the city with the wider world. In collaboration with partners and the local community, the artist Silvia Loeffler has been commissioned by Dublin Port Company to create a social and collaborative artistic mapping project that looks at the port ‘s transitional phases over a time period of 9 months.

 A large-scale installation series loosely based on the various maps used by H.A. Gilligan in his “History of the Port of Dublin” is currently being created, and the works are displayed in the Terminal 1 Building in Dublin Port. Each month, a new map layer will be added to the installation.

 Each month, a specific seminar, which will be held in the LAB Gallery on Foley Street, in order ‘to bring the port back into the city’, will accompany the map layer. Interested parties can register via Eventbrite.

  1. What reasons led you to apply to the open call?  Is there a particular interest in the port or the city within you artwork/practice/project?

My work deals with the emotional scanning or deep-mapping of spaces, and is very often situated in urban environments and in a maritime context.

3.  How do you envision your artwork/project and its manifestations in the future?
The work is a testimony to the careful as well as caring mapping of shoreline buildings and maritime activities. It is a documentation of port places that make up the fabric of our daily lives in terms of work and transit connecting the past and with the present moment.

4.  What do you hope your audience will experience with your artwork / project?  

The work has been ongoing, and I hope that the audience has so far enjoyed the layered sequence of the seminars, the layered maps of the installation, and the public discussions that have so far surrounded the work. A multifaceted engagement usually shifts perspectives of how we view the port in a subtle manners, as it creates a personal connection to the locations past and present. In that sense, the audience becomes part of the map.

Cliona Harmey & AEMI


  1. Could you give a brief description of your project.

Port I River I City takes shape as a collaborative partnership between aemi (http://aemi.ie/) and artist Cliona Harmey. Over three weeks in September they will co-curate and commission a unique programme of moving image works featuring a number of different perspectives and reflections interrogating ports and their immediate environs. This project will feature a variety of approaches, from formal experimental strategies to previously unseen archival material. In terms of how these works will be exhibited the project will also engage a number of possibilities from site-specific installation to more traditional screening environments (IFI), while also tracing a journey along the River Liffey from Dublin Port’s most eastern point into its inner city and now invisible waterways.   


  1. What reasons led you to apply to the open call?  Is there a particular interest in the port or the city within you artwork/practice/project?

Cliona Harmey had previous experience working with Dublin Port on the ‘Dublin Ships’ project. In addition her work as an artist has explored some of the various meeting points between technological histories, communication infrastructures, and artists’ engagement with the moving image. All of these interests are combined with this project. For aemi this project arrived at a particularly auspicious time, combining a number of areas of interest. In the months leading up to the announcement of this project, Alice Butler and Daniel Fitzpatrick (aemi) had meetings with Cliona Harmey and Moira Sweeney looking at possible collaborations. As curators focused on the moving image we were very interested in Cliona and Moira’s work, particularly their explorations of Dublin Port. At the time we talked about finding exciting ways to present work by other artists also engaged with similar ideas, artists like Peter Hutton for example or William Raban. The announcement of the Port Perspectives project seemed to arrive as we were considering these questions and we are delighted now to be able to put together what we feel is an exciting and ambitious programme that will not only include a new iteration of Moira’s work, ‘Rhythms of a Port’ but will also feature artists like Hutton and Raban (Raban will actually visit Ireland to present his work as part of Port I River I City’s closing event). In addition to this the project will feature newly commissioned work by Cliona Harmey, Dan Shipsides and Vanessa Daws.           


  1. How do you envision your artwork/project and its manifestations in the future?

With a project like this, especially one involved in commissioning new works, you hope that it has a lasting influence and legacy that can take various forms. One example of this is the way this project will feature an entirely new iteration of Moira Sweeney’s ‘Rhythms of a Port’. Previously exhibited as a site-specific multi-screen installation this project will be reconfigured here as a single screen work designed for cinema exhibition, giving it an entirely new life. The same thing could be said of various other works included in the programme, not just those works that are specifically created for this project. In addition we hope that the works shown and the unique perspectives on the city and port help audiences see their city differently, to make visible the unique attributes of the city which we take for granted. Finally a project like this is always a way of not only presenting ideas but creating new ones. The process of curating is sometimes referred to as ‘learning in public’ and this sums up quite well how it operates for us, it is always a productive process, never fully finished, all the time adding exciting new tributaries and openings.         


  1. What do you hope your audience will experience with your artwork / project?  

As we said above a project like this is always for us a process of discovery, as we uncover new ideas, new perspectives and new possibilities and we hope it will have some of those same properties for audiences. Better still that it will be a process of rediscovery for audiences that will allow them to think about their city and it’s port differently, something which we are also doing over the course of this project and its development. For us the value of art is in the way it can interrupt our everyday assumptions, allowing us to see things from a wholly different perspective, and in this it can be truly transformative. We are particularly excited that with this project we are able to bring this work directly to audiences who already have an existing relationship with these environments, allowing them to experience the familiar as something altogether new..


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