Tra Na Rosann, Ireland 2010
In June 2010, myself, along with my mother and father, travelled over to Downings in Donegal. It was the first trip to Donegal since the commencement of my studies. As mentioned, although a place I had visited at numerous times prior to this, I had deliberately held back from going back until I felt I had a better sense of what such encounters may signify, represent or come to narrate within my research. In that, I wanted this first ‘re-entering’ of such space to happen only after I had spent time asking myself why it was this location in particular which I felt particular affinity to. I was aware that any time spent physically within this landscape would provide material on which to draw creative work from – be that in direct response or in what I experienced once I had left. I felt it important also to reflect upon the layers of family narrative, which seemed to be fixed to this site of my grandmother and the lineage, which was connected here – as opposed to the other places, which could so easily have been named as ancestral sites. This part of my creative practice required a freeing and opening up of myself in order to try and allow the act of finding and collecting physical source material to be recognised for the performative act it signified.
Whilst there I conducted family interviews, researched and collected archival material, carried out performative site-specific works, and recorded video footage. Following on from such I intended to take these experiences into the studio to act as both a catalyst for further work, which would build upon developing work, and also as that which would stand as a form of documentation in itself. It was an experience of gathering details of both physical and emotive resource, and of recognising states of self shifting between critical observation and as someone involved in the narrative of the research.