As human beings we are constantly trying to deal and come to terms with internalised trauma. Being unable or unwilling to resolve certain issues, we cling even tighter to them and, though we yearn for peace and rest and progress, we can’t seem to let go of that which threatens to destroy us.
What is it like to walk away from conflict, to put your weapons beyond use? To dwell upon all the years committed to the never ending cycle of fright, fight, flight. Resentment, hatred, fury and denial all form part of the energy field that has dominated the Irish political situation for hundreds of years. ‘Letting go of that which you most ardently desire’ explores how, along with the hardware, these emotions need to be deactivated if the grip that has bound us for generations to armed conflict is to be loosened finally and permanently.
Letting go is always a process of loss, a process of grieving. The dawning realisation that you cannot retake what you’ve reconciled to let go of. And the final, slow acceptance that it is no longer of service to you anyway. ‘Letting go of that which you most ardently desire’ is a reflective process which offers participants a chance to engage with the emotional dynamics that underlie decommissioning and a chance also to acknowledge the significance of the end of armed conflict on the Island of Ireland.
The installation/performance ran for 4 days from October 5th-8th 2006 as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. Over 150 participants took place and witnessed the destruction and decommissioning of arms - an artistic event to mark the end of war on the island of Ireland. Later, the gun stocks from this event were assembled and exhibited in Gruel Cafe on Dame Street (No ifs, No butts, No violence') where the 150 participants were again invited to come and have their breakfast 'in peace'. The final part of the 'Letting go' process was set in London at Dialogue Culture Space in Vyner Street where the video footage of the event along with the remainder of the gun stocks and spent ammunition was displayed under the title of 'Remnants of our past'. (www.dialogueatvynerst.com)
Amygdalae Exhibition by Maedhbh Mc Mahon 2007
(amygdala: a region of the brain that deals with and stores fear and trauma
A work commemorating the lives of women and children incarcerated in Irelands Magdalene Laundries.
In association with Kevin Kavanagh Gallery and Farcry Productions Ltd
No Ifs, No Butts, No Violence - Dublin 2007
Peter Sutherland's opening speech.
Something to Live For
Parliament St, Dublin 2006 to 2007
A lit-box installation comprising of the portraits of many of the women who dedicated their lives to creating an independent State and whose contribution has gone largely unrecognised. The installation was opened by John O Donoghue TD in September 2006 and stayed lit until Jan 2008.
Nothing to Say - First Published 1983 - This edition 2003
Nothing to Say - Audio Excerpt
"Nothing to Say is about childhood - the most difficult of all stories to tell. Few writers attempt it and those that do usually fail. But this novel about a ten-year-old Dublin boy is a success, a thrilling evocation of boyhood, it makes you feel what it is like to be a child. It is amazing what - with apparently absolute simplicity - Mannix Flynn packs into every page: suspense, comedy, terror, pity, rage, innocence, lyricism, adventure, dream, accident."