Turning & Turning
Drawn From Borders was a project, led by artists, that explored the concept and reality of borders, specifically the border created 100 years ago by The Partition of Ireland. I joined the artists' research group, and my final contribution to the project was a video work, Turning & Turning.
I am a ‘border’ artist; I live in Donegal but my studio is in Derry. I drive across the border every day; a line that was recently made ‘visible’ again, when ‘Brexit’ posters started to appear at the ‘crossing point’.
When the red lines of Partition were being drawn on the map of Ireland a hundred years ago, did politicians imagine the issue would still be with us today? In a time of frenetic, chaotic debate the words of Yeats, from a hundred years ago, have an unsettling resonance
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;”
His poem “The Second Coming” was first published in 1920 - the year the “Government of Ireland Act” was passed.
I have used the first verse of Yeats’ poem as the inspiration for my video “Turning & Turning”, which was filmed at Grianan of Aileach, a stone fort on the Derry/Donegal border. From here you can look across the border, across an imagined line which creates an inside and outside, an invisible gateway from here to there to be opened and closed; somewhere around here is the line of dispute, here is where the argument spins round and round and round.
The programme was delivered by Artlink in Donegal, and The Nerve Centre and Tower Museum in Derry/Londonderry as part of the ‘Understanding the Decade of Centenaries’ project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).