A primary aim of this website is to construct a full digital archive of the entire THESE ROOMS project that acts as a living legacy of the collaboration. This room seeks to describe and document the collaborative artistic process through the voices of David Bolger, Owen Boss, Louise Lowe and other core members of the creative team. Through images, sound, video and blog style posts, we hope to build a unique insight into the methodology and practice of the artists themselves from concept to staging and beyond.
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A core objective of BEYOND THESE ROOMS was to actively engage visitors into creating their own versions of this conflicted history. The installation at Tate Exchange, Tate Liverpool, housed a large light table with multiple sentences taken from the following two governments’ enquiries conducted following the North King Street massacre:
THEY SAW RED is inspired by the Statement of MRS MARY McCARTNEY, wife of James McCartney from the FRAGMENT OF HISTORY containing the 38 female testimonies related to the North King Street Massacre on 28/29 April 1916.These images represent a visual interpretation of her journey and experience during her hostage situation in Mrs Lawless’s No 27 North King Street, following her arrival with her husband, maid servant and three week old child.The images take us on her journey from when she entered the house to the murder of her husband James, who was killed along with three other men.
Here are some lines from her statement that really stood out for me.
“I thought we might be safer there.”
“The military, who rushed in, were a savage brutal crew, a disgrace to mankind.”
“I was terrified, screamed, and was almost fainting with terror.”
“It was although we could not believe it, a last parting on this earth.”
“One of the soldiers was afterwards heard to say: The little man made a great struggle for his life and tried to throw himself out of the window: but we got him.”
One of the most effecting statements in this “Fragment of History” document is General Maxwell, who afterwards made the suf ciently candid and luminous statement in the “Daily Mail” with regard to the conduct of the troops under his command:…“Possibly some unfortunate incidents, which we should regret now, may have occurred… It is even possible, that under the horrors of this attack some of them ‘saw red’, that is the inevitable consequences of a rebellion of this kind…”
© Úna Kavanagh, September 2016
David Bolger, artistic director of CoisCéim Dance Theatre, and Owen Boss and Louise Lowe, artistic directors of Anu Productions, spoke to Karen E. Till, Professor of Cultural Geography at Maynooth University, about their work in progress for THESE ROOMS on 10 February 2016. The artists reflect upon their inspiration for working together, the different facets of THESE ROOMS, and their past projects and creative practices. They describe their responses to the testimonies of the 38 women whose stories inspired THESE ROOMS, and their motivation for trying to create a visceral means for future audience members to understand what it must have felt like to have an ‘uninvited rebellion’ crashing into their homes. As their collaboration at the time of this conversation was seven-and-a-half months before the launch of THESE ROOMS, they also discuss the possibilities and challenges of working together at this early stage of development, when they didn’t even yet have a performance venue. They describe their artistic journey as a kind of ‘collective dreaming’ built upon mutual trust that enabled the artists to move between visual, theatre and dance artistic forms, while maintaining an ethical impetus to bear witness to the civilian murders of North King Street.
Read the full article here
© David Bolger, Owen Boss, Louise Lowe and Karen E. Till.