Summer 2022

A Story of Home

Artist Joe Caslin is working with Cork Migrant Centre and families who are seeking asylum in Ireland to create new artworks as part of Cork Midsummer Festival

Participants: Abiola, Arife, Belinda, Catherine, Deborah, Doris, Favour, Genea, Germaine, Husnia, Joan, Joyce, Linda, Lukwasa, Margaret, Marsilda, Michell, Monique, Nabila, Nyoni, Olufunmilayo, Rebecca, Reem, Salamah, Sharon, Yanaisy, Zira, and others who have chosen to remain anonymous.

Two large-scale murals were installed in locations in Cork city and county, speaking to the presence and absence of the migrant community in rural and urban Ireland.

Through a series of creative sessions at the Glucksman, the artist Joe Caslin worked with a group of 35 women from diverse backgrounds to explore their understanding of home. The participants were given the opportunity to share their experiences, finding connections with other members of the group and exploring creative ways that their stories could be represented. The sessions supported by the Glucksman and Cork Migrant Centre teams, encouraged the group to look at the power of portraiture to communicate ideas and reveal insights into the sitter. Together participants discussed posture, gesture, and symbolism, before putting all their learning into practice and sitting for a portrait with the artist. Two of these portraits were wrapped around prominent buildings in the city and county.

Joe Caslin is an Irish street artist, art teacher and activist. He is best known for his beautifully rendered pencil drawings, presented outdoors at a massive scale. His work engages directly with the social issues of modern Ireland, on an unavoidable scale - confronting the subjects of suicide, drug addiction, economic marginalisation, marriage equality, stigma in mental health, direct provision, institutional power, consent and most recently, the effects of the Covid19 pandemic on young people. His towering, monochrome drawings define a moment in time while also being deliberately ephemeral, often washing away within a few weeks: leaving us with just memories… and maybe a change of mind and attitude.

The artworks were on display at Mallow Castle and at Sullivan’s Quay, Cork city in June and September 2022.

Curated by Tadhg Crowley

A Story of Home is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland, and supported by Cork County Council and Cork City Council.