A ROOM IN AIR is in two parts. The first part is contemporary, the second a symbolic re-enactment. The film attempts to explore the way in which the famine proved to be a psychic and emotional fault line for Ireland and its people. It suggests that the implosion of society which occurred during the famine, and the systematic institutionalisation across different sections of society in the 20th century was initiated by the Workhouse system.
I lived in the remnants of the Auxilliary Workhouse in Ballyvaughan, Clare, for over a decade. A ROOM IN AIR was filmed there over a period of three days, with a group from the community, largely made up of non actors, playing the central roles. A ROOM IN AIR premiered at the Burren College of Art in 2012.
Living Through Air is a video installation which accompanied my show Living Through Air at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon in 2009. The show dealt with depictions of extreme events, extreme realities, notably paintings of jumpers from the Twin Towers, which were based on downloaded photographs from the web. Other sequences depicted war, torture, rape, and privation in a pop figurative manner. The film encapsulates these essential dynamics but questions whether the purported transformation is merely the adoption of a relieving position.