This is a walking project, a guide, an artistic map, and a journey on a Canal. It is filled with a not so accurate or sensible, or even factual information, but a walk to the unknown for those who wish to allow us to navigate them to the past, as well as the current terrain of any Canal, exploring the ecological and human impact of place through time. 1
About the Artists
Sinéad Curran – I’ve lived close to the Grand Canal in Dublin for 15 years, with a new found appreciation with it during the Covid Pandemic. My aim for this project is to promote reflection about our relationship with place, attachment to place, point out the ecological and cultural values that still remain, and to generate dialogue and imagination about the future of our natural environment. Water is of vital importance, as it connects us all, to each other, and to our biosphere – the Canal has been a historical source of water supply and as a mean of connecting people. In responding to the Canal as a place to walk, I explore reimagined methods of collaborative caring for water, plants and for each other.2
Jane Locke – I grew up near the dark sliver of the Royal Canal at Cross Guns Bridge. In the 80s we walked with my father along the long ruin of an industrial super-highway. Shopping-trolley shipwrecks wallowed in the shallows, moss softened lock gates roared over the abyssal deeps, the canal left me rich with mouldering decay and a terror of deep water that still feeds my work.
This project has given focus to consider the canal’s physicality within the city and its environs, the slow shiver between the natural and the manmade. From the moment the water was first released to transform the hewn stone and clay lined trench into a canal, the manmade has slowly, unceasingly, been reclaimed by the natural. Colonised and softened by reeds, rushes and moss, the natural must continually be held in check to maintain the filamentous parks for human leisure and human movement.
From their creation the canals have operated as a watery transport corridor that slices through the earth-bound transport network, creating a behind the scenes route that seems to float as a separate space, untethered from the geography of the city. The Long Mirror invites people to enter that space and explore and re-discover it for themselves. 3