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A Word Not Spoken Holds Weight  2015

Video Installation, Single channel HD digital video with stereo sound (Workhouse Union commission, 2015. Install images by Brian Cregan).  Video stills courtesy of the artist.

The culmination of a series of poetic, spoken performances staged within Callan Workhouse - A Word Not Spoken Holds Weight – attempts to address ideas around trauma and the forgotten voice as a speculative, alternative narrative of rememberance. As testament to this intervention, actress Fiona McGeown is recorded acting out a one sided, scripted conversation with a ghost, based on tenuous accounts that the spirit of a young girl inhabits the rear of the structure. 
The language (partially constructed through appropriated vocabulary from museum conservation) could describe a trauma inflicted upon the body as well as upon the structure that houses it. 

As part of this series of live interventions, writer and poet Clara Rose Thorton was invited to recite a work entitled ‘Public Love’.  The piece speaks to varied histories of subjugation and dispossession, accessed through a response to the writings of 18th C philosopher Frances Hutcheson – whose work influenced the evolution of equality and liberal democracy as it exists today. Through the use of the human voice, the temporal nature of performance linked with the physicality of the building - the work attempts to address the function and value related to artistic production - in connecting historical legacies with a lived experience in the now. 

Workhouse Union, a programme of artists residencies and commissioned new work, was initiated in 2015 to critically examine the history and legacy of Callan Workhouse
Workhouse Union is generously supported through an Arts Council Visual Arts Project Award

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