This work was commissioned as part of a closing event for InContext4, a public art programme for South Dublin County Council that ran from 2016-2019, curated by Aoife Tunney and Claire Power. In the frame of Ultimology, this is a project that explores endings, looking at the tradition of unregulated bonfires that happen over Samhain or Halloween night in neighbourhoods across South Dublin County. This is a tradition I grew up with, in Tallaght where I was born, and is now endangered as a practice as county councils seek to minimise behaviour considered 'anti-social'.
In 2018 it was reported that South Dublin County were using drones to search for material 'stockpiled' in advance of bonfires.(Irish Examiner)
Stockpile engages with the ritual of unregulated bonfires in South Dublin County, opening conversation about the at-risk practice- asking how do we decide to categorise or regulate traditions of gathering? What ways can we memorialise traditions that may be at risk, and should we? What are the rituals that we value, and why? The work presented three forms of engagement with material gathered from fires around South Dublin County, soap made using charcoal and detritus, an audio piece made by invited composer Davy Kehoe and Morgan Buckley using audio samples collecting during the process of collecting material for the soap and a snack and hot drink made using charcoal, accompanying an outdoor stove fire made by artist Andreas Kindler von Knobloch. Visitors were invited to use the handsoap as they entered the exhibition, to sit and eat by the fire outside and then to join a listening session in the gallery where the sound piece was performed.
Documentation photography by Kasia Kaminska
Charcoal crackers and dips served by the stove. Documentation photography by Kasia Kaminska
As part of the project, I invited the sound artists Morgan and Davy to gather ambient audio recordings during the process of collecting ashes and detritus from the fires, and to use this to create a score for the event. You can listen to their piece here.