Open House Dublin

Project Description

Initiated to coincide with the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Open House Dublin weekend in 2008 four Irish artists – Mary Jo Gilligan, Jesse Jones, Padraic E. Moore and Eilis McDonald – were invited to produce new work in response to the built spaces of Dublin city.

Eilis McDonald’s ‘Dublin City Colouring Book’ merged familiar Dublin landmarks with elements of fantasy and imagination. (pdf download of the colouring book is available here).

‘Tastes Like Lego’ by Mary Jo Gilligan explored ‘sensory awareness’ and subverted the ocular focus of the architect’s ‘vision’ of the city. Research was presented in a number of formats including “a buffet of buildings” and an alternative blindfolded walking tour of City Hall and the new city council Palace Street offices.

For ‘A Place in Time’ Padraic E. Moore collaborated with Swollen Design to produce a number of screen printed posters which were then situated in the iconic modernist Dublin buildings they depicted. Each building was adopted by Moore as a “synchronic monument”. This subtle intervention was celebratory and highlighted the need to protect and value these structures, some of which have been neglected and were (at that time) scheduled for demolition.

An ominous tone pervaded Jesse Jones ‘Psychic Architecture’, a book with accompanying audio piece made specifically to be experienced in the main reading room of the National Library, Kildare Street.

‘Culturstruction Screenings’ was a complementary selection of artists’ films projected in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. In each of the works a whimsical or light-hearted tone also masks a deeper sense of questioning and unrest. Together the screenings formed a reflection on the idealism and compromise inherent in the ‘development’ of the built environment. Selected films screened over two nights in Meeting House Square were Michelle Browne, ‘Luastube: How to get away from it all, Part 1’, (2007); Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint, ‘Generator’, (2006); Bea McMahon, ‘Transport’ (2008); Emma Houlihan, ‘Everywhere is a playground’, (2008);  Kennedy Browne, ‘Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast’, (2006) and Finola Jones, ‘Steam’, (2007).

The project was curated by Culturstruction in partnership with the Irish Architecture Foundation. It was supported and funded by Dublin City Council’s Arts Office as part of the ‘Open Spaces’ programme. The ‘Open Spaces’ initiative seeks to explore the possibilities of innovative contemporary arts practice in the city’s urban and suburban open spaces. ‘Open Spaces’ is supported by The Arts Council.


Project Details


Irish Architecture Foundation
Dublin City Council Arts Office Open Spaces Programme




Mary Jo Gilligan
Jesse Jones
Padraic Moore
Eilis McDonald
Films by Michelle Browne, Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint, Bea McMahon, Emma Houlihan, Kennedy Browne, and Finola Jones

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