LACUNA (2015-2021) is an audio/visual work that considers the physical and psychological impact of partition on children of the Irish borderlands.
Borders are confused spaces: artificial divisions, lines drawn on maps for political or colonial expediency, with little consideration of the natural or cultural realities and distinctions. From Donegal to Armagh, I have experienced many versions of this liminal space collaborating with children forgotten in the politics of boundaries. In 2015 I began LACUNA in the small village of Pettigo. The River Termon, fowing through the centre of the village, marks the physical border fnding Pettigo both in Donegal and Fermanagh, Ireland and the UK, and soon, inside and outside the European Union. Three bridges span the river and at places where it narrows, often, without realising, you can step across into another country. In collaboration with young people, we explore the notion of the border as a place in fux.
The diffusion of the physical border in recent years has meant young people have experienced little of the impact on physical movement. Now though, the prospect of the introduction of an international border between the EU and the UK gives rise to new uncertainties about the future. Within the chaos of Brexit I'm broadening the work out to think about the larger notion of borders - looking at mythology and fantasy with the children to creatively explore their land.
LACUNA will continue to work with children along the Irish borderlands up to the centenary of partition in 2021. The work weaves together still and moving images, recorded stories and an original soundscape invoking the tangible and intangible, natural and constructed essence of the Irish borderlands.