Working from a makeshift desk in the foyer of the local Bank of Ireland, the artist offered a ‘sketch and draw’ service to the public. Following conversations on the street and some initial advertising, many members of the public brought in broken objects from around their house, which were then lent to the artist for a week, in the manner of a short term deposit. At the end of the project, donors received their objects back along with a complimentary drawing that acted as a kind of accumulated interest for their involvement.
In 2008, with local community help, the artist organized a game of bingo for one night only in the Community Hall. This was the first time in 25 years that Askeaton hosted bingo. Two hundred people attended. A final installation consisted of sound recordings of the event. Since the event, a revival occurred and bingo was held once a month in the town, thanks to Michael's foresight.
Smilde, in his initial research on Askeaton, looked up Askeaton in Google Street View and was directed to Askeaton, Wisconsin, USA. He then transposed the first building he saw in the American Askeaton to Ireland, with a life size photo of a barn installed on the way into the town in summer 2009. The artist hoped that when Google come to photograph the original town of Askeaton, this image will be picked up, and the building will simultaneously exist in both Askeatons. In the end, Smilde' sculpture was captured and today still appears on Google Street View.
Set around the legacy of Second World War battlement infrastructure along the Shannon Estuary, Hughes' video, audio and photographic installation examines ideas of the ‘neutral state’, not solely as it pertains to the neutrality of Ireland during the Second World War, but also as an exploratory idea of historical memory and site as an ever-evolving understanding. A sound work was produced from interviews made with Michael Foley, John Guinane and Michael D. Ryan, all of whom had volunteered in the Local Security Force (LSF) and Local Defense Force (LDF) in the 1940s. As they each reflect on their life and work during ‘The Emergency,’ their recollections frequently intertwine and sometimes interrupt their respective accounts. Hughes subsequently photographed several pillboxes in the West Limerick area, small concrete structures these men would have been stationed in. Ardmore Point, the only defense battery built by the Irish government during World War II, features prominently in Hughes’ accompanying video. Located in County Kerry on the mouth of the Shannon, a sprawling variety of lookout structures and underground bunkers were constructed to prevent the invasion of German or Allied forces. Over the last seventy years, the entire complex has gradually disappeared from view and local consciousness: overgrown by bushes, and forgotten, with no conservation program enacted.
As these environments shift and change over time, modified by progress, neglect or erasure, Hughes’ work does more than simply inform us and create awareness around these places. Instead, by situating us as viewers and audience for his investigations, he democratically exposes the hidden power that these structures represent. The resulting mediation, within the politics of memory, social and political circumstance, proves that landscape and territory are anything but neutral.
Jitrik spent time making a small painting that, according to curator Adriano Pedrosa, “is a splendid abstract geometric composition, one can see the same mosaic of multicoloured slanted rectangles forming a larger, again not so orthogonal square, which in turn is intersected by a trapezoid figure, offering a feast for the formal connoisseur.” With such praise, Jitrik’s work could be considered akin to a Mondrian or a work of Russian Constructivism. Yet, she subtly shifts these expectations of her work away to another discursive platform, as a video details the painting’s growth and development from a blank canvas to a completed artwork, accompanied by a soundtrack by Jitrik’s band, Orquestra Roja (Red Orchestra). In another moment, the painting appears in the ruins of a local Franciscan Abbey, almost as an apparition amongst gravestones and medieval stone carvings, urgently captured in photographs and video excerpts. The piece later featured in 2011's Istanbul Biennial.
Other resident artists between 2006 and 2011 included Paul Aherne, Anita Di Bianco, Elaine Byrne, Alan Counihan, Filip Van Dingenen, Joe Duggan, Michael Eddy, Angela Fulcher, Peggy Franck, Jeronimo Hagerman, Morten Steen Hebsgaard, Jeanette Hilig, Marie-Jeanne Hoffner, Ilja Karalampi, Dennis McNulty, Holly O’Brien, Oswaldo Ruiz, Louise Manifold, Mark McGreevy and Oliver Heizenberger.