Every family has secrets. Some families have bigger secrets. Some families have dangerous ones. State secrets. Secrets under floorboards. Secret spaces embedded in the walls. Two families have kept these secret spaces for generations.
Visual Artist and Co-artistic director of ANU Productions Owen Boss and Theatre Maker Genevieve Hulme-Beaman’s families have been connected for generations by the convergence of secrets and spaces generated by the double lives of their respective Great Grandfathers. Exploring the impact and contributions that this alliance made on the newly formed Irish State, this work examines the effect living double lives has had on the preceding generations.
Both men lived tangentially by proclamations of alternative social orders, worlds within worlds, resistant to the rules of the terrestrial law and state. Spending most of their lives evading capture so that they could achieve the kind of Ireland they imagined. To achieve this, both placed their respective families in acute danger. In order to survive, they created fake identities and a network of hidden spaces and codified systems. Both families have subsequently passed down a deep need for privacy. Secret codes, knocks and doorbell rings – a leftover reminder of house raids, arrests and a deep distrust of the outside, that even generations on, doors would never be opened unless the codes are adhered to by visitors. Both families still use the mantra ‘don’t write anything down.’
Funded by Arts Council Ireland, Dublin City Council and Greater Houston Community Foundation
For more see: /projectartscentre.ie/event/the-secret-space/
Established in April 2009, ANU is led by Theatre Director and film-maker Louise Lowe, Visual Artist and designer Owen Boss, Creative Producer Lynnette Moran and Producer Matthew Smyth. Pioneering a hybrid of art forms that places the audience at the centre of our practice, together we have created 41 seminal works, including public art commissions, gallery installations and museum interpretations, creating a brand that is gaining worldwide momentum.
Building a global reputation for creating transformative experiences in unusual locations, we continue to challenge theatrical conventions by blurring the lines between immersive and site specific practice.
We place the audience at the very centre of the experience to create autonomous and meaningful exchanges with them. Our aesthetic represents the independent and the experimental, creating a new kind of multi-disciplinary model – a daring new hybrid art at the forefront of Ireland’s cultural landscape.