Artist: Clodagh Emoe
Collaborators: Hallah Farhan Dawood, Ragad Farhan Dawood, Papy Kahoya Kasongo, Fatemeh, Mohamad, and Romeo Kibambe Kitenge
Community Partners: Spirasi, TU Dublin, D7 Educate Together Primary School with senior infants coordinator Anna Donnelly, St. Paul’s Secondary School Brunswick Street with transition year coordinator Val Roe, St Joseph’s Secondary School Stanhope Street with transition year coordinator Siobhan Earley, Mary Conlon, OPW, Head Gardener of IMMA/RHK, Generous gardeners who donated their plants from Co. Kerry, Co. Clare, Co. Wicklow, Co. Louth and Dublin
Date: January 2018 – Ongoing
Website/Social Media: http://www.clodaghemoe.com/crocosmia-x
Commission type: Open call
Commissioner name: Grangegorman Public Art Working Group; Grangegorman Development Agency
Per cent of art: Yes
Crocosmia × is a participatory project with individuals seeking asylum in Ireland that aims to cultivate Crocosmia × croscosmiiflora, (known as Montbretia and Fealeastram Dearg) as a metaphor for diversity and inclusion in Ireland. This plant originally from South Africa now celebrated as an Irish wildflower questions received notions of what is ‘native’ and what is ‘foreign’. We cultivated the metaphor of Crocosmia × by exchanging poems for plants from gardeners all across Ireland and nurturing corms of these wildflowers in the nursery in IMMA. We developed workshops for children and young people in primary and secondary schools that resulted in two site-specific public artworks for TU Dublin Grangegorman and IMMA. Our gesture of planting these vibrant wildflowers transformed previously neglected areas by the playing fields in TU Dublin campus and a white metal bench by the front lawn in IMMA into a place where people might sit and be together.
Croscosmia × is a collaborative art project developed by Clodagh Emoe with Hallah Farhan Dawood, Ragad Farhan Dawood, Papy Kahoya Kasongo, Fatemeh, and Mohamad in partnership with Spirasi and connecting with Dublin 7 Educate Together Primary School, St. Paul’s CBS and St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Stanhope Street.
We found a corm of the Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora while gardening in Spirasi, 213 North Circular Road. This wild flower beloved and common throughout Ireland is in fact native to South Africa. This wild flower offered a metaphor to question the problematic of the “foreigner” and redefine the notion of “native”.
Crocosmia × is a process based artwork that comprises an audio work of poems by Jean-Marie Rukundo Phillemon, Siniša Končić, Annet Mphahlele, Saida Umar, Peter Rukundo and Marie Claire Mundi Njong. These poems are published in an anthology of poetry, The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expance of Space and Time and available to purchase from Alan Hannah’s Bookstore, Rathmines and The Lillyput Press, Stoneybatter.
(All proceeds go to The Friends of the Centre Ballaghadereen). An integral part of this work are these perennial wild plants that flower in late Summer. These plants have come from all over Ireland, Kerry, West Cork, Clare, Wicklow, Louth and Dublin ranging from large garden estates to rural farms, suburban gardens and inner city backyards.
By creating an informal public space on this site, Crocosmia × offers a place for the community in and around Grangegorman to meet.
Activating Crocosmia × at IMMA and Grangegorman Campus
International Sculpture Day, Saturday 24 April 2021
Crocosmia × will be activated in TU Dublin Grangegorman and IMMA as part of International Sculpture Day 2021. The public are invited to reflect on the metaphor of Crocosmia × and the challenges and obstacles endured by those displaced by political, social and environmental issues. Copies of “The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time”, anthology of poetry by individuals seeking asylum in Ireland will be available to borrow from Happy Days Coffee Van in TU Dublin Grangegorman. Recordings of a selection of the poems recited by the authors and information on the Crocosmia × and The Plurality of Existence in the Infinite Expanse of Space and Time are available on:
Launch of Crocosmia × at Grangegorman Campus
Culture Night, Friday 21 September 2018 at 6 pm
Open invitation to gather in the intimate outdoor auditorium beside the playing fields next to the tree-lined Avenue to hear the poetry of Crocosmia;
From 21st September – 7th October
Voices in Kinyarwanda, Luganda, Croatian and Urdu will echo above this intimate space while these wild flowers are in bloom.
Special thanks to Jenny Haughton, Public Arts Coordinator, Grangegorman Public Art, Lori Keeve, GDA and Derek Bowden’s Grangegorman Estates Team in particular Himzo Kazar. Special thanks to Adam, Keith and Dylan from St. Paul’s secondary school, Brunswick Street who assisted us with this artwork.
Launch of Crocosmia × at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art)
Saturday 8 September 2018 at 1 pm
A family-friendly event in the front lawn of IMMA, with music and poetry written and recited by Siniša Končić, Marie Claire Mundi Njong and Jean-Marie Rukundo Phillemon.
Bring your family, friends and a picnic and enjoy the beautiful formal gardens of IMMA.
Special thanks to Janice Hough, Coordinator of the Artists’ Residency programme and Mary Conlon, OPW, Head Gardener of IMMA/RHK and her team who worked tirelessly with us throughout the entire project, from guiding us through the process of planting the corms, nurturing the plants in the nursery to planting the wild flowers on site in along the fringes of the entrance to the RHK. Special thanks to artist Eoin Mac Laughlainn who assisted us with this artwork.
I Slept Like a Stone
18 June – 19 August 2018
The Lab, Dublin City Council, Foley Street, Dublin 1
Curated by Sheena Barrett and Julia Moustacchi
The plants on display in this exhibition will be planted on the grounds of the Mosney Refugee Centre.
Poetry Recital with Crocosmia, Lilliput Press, Stoneybatter Festival
Saturday 21 June 2018
Poetry readings by Marie Clarie Mundi Njong, Jean Marie Rukundo Philemon and Siniša Končić from the anthology of poetry, The Plurality of Existence… with introduction to the project Crocosmia × by Clodagh Emoe.
Cover image: Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora in bloom, photo courtesy of Eoin Mac Laughlainn, https://emacl.wordpress.com/
- Artist Bio
Central to Clodagh’s art practice is a concern with the encounter as a condition of art and how it manifests through perception. Her most recent works are best described as events as they are predicated on a gathering and call people together to specific locations at specific times, for example, a forest at midnight, a flat due for demolition in Dublin’s city centre at dusk and the National Gallery of Ireland during closing hours. These events engage with the condition of art as an encounter by exploring how thinking may be ‘felt’.
Clodagh holds a BA in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, a MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and a PhD titled Exploring the Philosophical Character of Contemporary Art through a Post-Conceptual Practice from GradCAM/TU Dublin.
Her full bio and works can be found on her website here.
- Project Supporters
Special thanks to the kind folk who donated their plants to the project;
Thomas Quearney of Mr. Middleton, Declan O’ Donahue Head Gardener Farmleigh House and Gardens, Elizabeth Addison, Naimh Walker, Bríd Keegan, Claire Connolly, Cecilia Kelliher and Pat Lavery, Marie Savage, Geraldine O’ Halloran, Mary Mc Inerny, Maire O’ Hagan, Nuala O’ Hagan, Holly Pereira, Maire O’ Hagan, Nuala O’ Hagan, Anne O’ Leary, Mary McInery, Anna King, Bríd and Pat Larkin and Sr. Noelle Jennings.