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Brief Artist Statement
The Wallsteads of Civilization
From the ringforts of the pre-Christian Celtic civilization through the 5th and
6th century monasteries to the ruins of cottages whose tenants were evicted
during the famine of the 1840’s and plantation houses burned during the civil
war after Irish independence in 1922, Ireland’s history can be documented by
her wallsteads. They stand in the landscape reminding us of the long and
turbulent history the country has endured.
After the economic collapse of the Irish economy in 2008, a new type of ruin
was added to the roster. These are not the ruins that held the illuminated
manuscripts or defended us against the Vikings. These are the ruins of
houses yet to be lived in, these are contemporary ruins without a history.
When the economic collapse occurred, it was sudden. In some cases workers
arrived in the morning to find the construction site in the hands of the bank.
Today there are 2,800 Ghost Estates littering the Irish landscape. These
wallsteads stand not as a testament to Irelands’ heroic or ecclesiastical
past, but instead as monuments to speculative greed and unregulated capitalism.