The website is an online version of the exhibition on display at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks from October 2021 – May 2022. The ‘Little Houses’ website invites you to explore the artworks and find out more about the project.
‘Little Houses’ provides a platform and a space in the Museum for young people from the community close to Collins Barracks. The artworks that they created during Lockdown are a visual record of their experiences of the pandemic and its impact on the community, and wider society.
The idea for ‘Little Houses’ came from Johanna Visser, one of the youth workers, who had been inspired by Dutch organisation Stoereloer’s ‘Miniatuurhuis’ in the Netherlands
The Youth Service invited young people to create artworks depicting spaces or places that were meaningful to them during this extraordinary time, and provided each young person with a bag of art materials and a wooden board, crafted by members of the Mendicity Institution’s Workshop, whose service users have experienced homelessness.
The youth workers asked the young people a set of questions to think about before starting to decorate their board, including:
· What do I miss? (friends, family, sport, hobbies, travelling, anything else?)
· What are my dreams?
· While acknowledging that this is a very challenging time for young people, what are the positive things that have happened d lockdown?
· Have a proper look in your room. What do you see?
Artist Maria McKinney was engaged as guest curator for the exhibition. She worked with a group of the young people on the exhibition concept, arranging the artworks together, taking inspiration from housing typical to Stoneybatter such as small cottages, terraced two-up, two-down housing, apartment blocks and flats. By mixing the spaces together in this way, the young participants have become “neighbours” of other young people they might not have met before.
The Irish Architecture Foundation collaborated with the project partners in an investigation, with the young people, of the themes reflected in the ‘Little Houses’ exhibition, including questions about what “home” means to us.
The exhibition is available to view for free online until the end of August.