I’m almost one week in on a 15-month residency in Draíocht. Feeling like the new boy all week finding my ways around and through the building, remembering codes, names, where the kitchen, toilets and photocopier is. Unlike my fantastic Limerick residency, this will be a little different – in a positive way. There’s no-one else but little old me sitting in a big fish-bowl for adults, looking onto the street outside of Blanchardstown Shopping Centre. And it’s slightly longer. The timeframe is excellent as I will need it all in order to pull of what I think I will pull off.
The area of focus will once again be on the elderly. Ageing is already beginning to have a relevance in contemporary visual art. Here in Ireland in the last few months, significant developments have been made at government level which is beginning to dramatically shift the meaning of what ‘old’ really is. Under the Government’s plan, published on March 3rd 2009, the retirement age will be raised to 66 in four years and eventually to 68 as part of a comprehensive reform of the pension system. This will not be isolated to Ireland. The UK has already begun to debate this and other countries will have choice but to follow as people are living longer and are healthier. Does this mean their relevance in society will change too? Time will tell. In the meantime, my stage and spotlight will be coming to Blanch soon to give them as much showtime as possible.