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KinShip Tramore Valley Park, Cork, Ireland

The KinShip Project is led by artists LennonTaylor (Marilyn Lennon and Seán Taylor), in partnership with Cork City Council. It is a recipient of the inaugural Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication. This fund supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empowers citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations.

In recent history Tramore Valley Park has been the site of great environmental change. From 1964 to 2009, this site was used as a landfill for Cork city, while prior to that it was common ground and part occupied by The Black Ash Traveller campsite.

The 170 acre site fully opened to the public as a public park in 2019. The landfill and remediation engineering works are complex, both visible and hidden, and ongoing.

A wetland on the site survives, the Tramore and Trabeg streams flow around approximately half of the parks borders. New soil, trees and plants have been introduced alongside the existing growth. Ghosts of the sites history are present as cement and metal detritus dotted across the acres. A hill in the centre of the park is the remains of the landfill rubbish heap, this has been compacted and a system of underground pipes now removes the methane and leachate water. An enormous rubber mat covers the landfill, and over that is one meter deep of topsoil. The hill will decrease in height as the liquids and gases escape over the coming decades. Deep planting isn't possible here.

As a social art project The KinShip art project invites participation and collaboration over the duration of this public artwork, at least one year.

Artists, citizens, local communities are invited to gather in this place, and to respond creatively and critically to the ecological and climate action challenges we face today.

The overall aim of the art project is to develop a feeling of connection between the people of Cork and the ecology of the park. The project's an opportunity to develop a new relationship with the park, a kinship with the wider community of life, non-human organisms and environmental systems, through direct experience and close attention. This is a space to question the colonising, extractive relationship we've developed with the natural world. As a legacy of ‘throw away’ culture, this remediated landfill site offers us a space to develop, test and share creative actions towards becoming kin and shifting our thinking.

To begin this process, KinShip offers is a year-long creative programme of interventions including, citizen-led skills and knowledge based exchanges, artist's placements, a KinShip EcoLab architectural construction commission, and a focused series of creative deep mappings in the park.

This public artwork has been developed by Lennon Taylor with the support of Cork City Arts office. Local project partners form a working group to support the project including; Cork Healthy Cities, Cork Nature Network, Cork UNESCO Learning Cities, Green Spaces for Health, MTU Clean Technology Centre and UCC Environmental Research Institute.

To begin KinShips creative interventions, we offer a number of perspectives to think about.

The Subterranean Encounter

We ask how do we engage with the ‘underground’ as a very particular spatial context that generates insight and questions that unsettle and confront practices of sub-surface extraction, burial, or dumping? The subterranean and the underground are rich sites of provocation and cultural imagination. We invite being with the underground, to investigate, to encounter and imagine the living underworlds of soil, liquids, microbes, worms, bacteria, and mycelium networks.

The Grounded Encounter

We ask how do we engage with the ground as a spatial context on which we build our habitats and communities? We share this ground with the broader community of life growing, inhabiting, breathing, and shaping. We invite being with the ground in a reciprocal capacity, to encounter, to listen, to remediate, to co-create.

The Aerial Encounter

We ask how do we engage with the aerial, the overground space of weather, flight, molecules of scent, territorial birdsong, broadcast signals, surveillance, and power? How do we develop an enhanced awareness of our co-existence with the airborne, vaporous, and atmospheric wider community of life over ground? We invite being with the aerial, to investigate, to encounter and imagine.

For ongoing information

Twitter @KinShipCork

Facebook: @CorkCityArts

Instagram @KinShipCork


Photo. CCAD students tuning-in at Tramore Valley Park