At 1pm on Sunday 5 December artist Anthony Haughey and more than fifty participants will gather at Fort Dunree and the entrance to Buncrana to produce an artist intervention. Anthem is the outcome of Anthony’s 2021 Artlink residency co-created with residents living near Fort Dunree, Buncrana and Drumfries.
This event marks the centenary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on the 6th of December 1921. At that time Ireland was largely defined in terms of Nationalist/Unionist cultural identities. One hundred years later Ireland is a more culturally diverse society. This artwork questions what national identity means in twenty-first-century Ireland.
During his residency, Anthony hosted a number of workshops with a wide range of groups. Participants were asked to design flags to represent both Fort Dunree and Neds Point as well as proposing a future flag for Ireland. Fort Dunree was a strategic military site for the British during World War One and played a significant role during the Anglo-Irish treaty negotiations. Part of the settlement included an agreement for the British to retain sovereignty of Fort Dunree as well as two other ‘Treaty Ports’. The ceremony to hand back the fort to the Irish government in 1938 was officiated by lowering the Union flag and raising the Irish tricolour, by a coincidence the flag bearers from the opposing British and Irish military were also brothers-in-law.
This art intervention will invite some of the participants who designed flags to raise them on flagpoles above Fort Dunree, in a non-militaristic act of citizenship. All of the participant’s flag designs will be available to view in the Saldanha Gallery.
In talking about the work Anthony Haughey comments “I am interested in re-shaping acts of commemoration and inviting participants and audiences to connect with complex historical events in not just an intellectual but also an emotional level. Anthem is part of a larger project I’m working on during my National Museum of Ireland Decade of Centenaries artist residency; in fact the work carried out at Artlink has been important in the development of this larger project”.
Anthony Haughey is an artist, educator and co-founder of the Centre for Socially Engaged Practice Based Research at TU Dublin. Recent exhibitions include the film trilogy Assemble, made in collaboration with the Global Migration Collective, exhibited at RCC Letterkenny; Citizen Nowhere / Citizen Somewhere: The Imagined Nation, Crawford Gallery, Cork; Go Down Moses, curated by Teju Cole, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Field Notes From the Border, a touring exhibition, and 21st Century Ireland in 21 Artworks, curated by Cristín Leach, Glebe Gallery, Donegal. He recently collaborated with the late Seamus Deane to produce a billboard work in Derry railway station and was appointed National Museum of Ireland, Decade of Centenaries artist-in residence 2021-2023.