Launch - Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs – ‘A public history of community and place made up of private voices’

12th December 2011: A publication as part of the Public Art Commission for Dublin City Council by artist Chris Reid, funded through the Per Cent for Art Scheme by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.  Chris Reid is an Assistant Lecturer in the School of Spatial Planning at DIT.


Chris Reid, DIT lecturer and artist, Councillor John Gallagher Counsellor, Ray Yeates, Dublin City Arts officer and Ruairí O Cuív, Public Art manager, Dublin City Council

Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs is the final part of a public art commission undertaken by Chris Reid. The book is part of a larger DCC Public Art commission where the stories of residents within the Dublin 8 area were recorded, and immortalized in the form of 20 heritage plaques, cast in bronze and affixed to the external walls of the flat complex as a lasting legacy to the lives and stories of all the people who have lived there.

The book is a distillation of the rich oral history of the last 100 years as expressed through the memories of people who live or who have lived in a small corner of the Liberties in Dublin 8. This residential area centres around the distinctive red brick Victorian flats on Nicholas Street, Bride Street, Bride Road and the Ross Road. This content is informed primarily by audio recordings made by Chris Reid with over forty people who agreed to participate by sharing their memories of this local area and also by collaborating on aspects of the book’s content. The resulting work is an open ended insightful history based on a process of engagement with the residents past and present, as Reid himself puts it ‘A public history of community and place made up of private voices.’Heirlooms and Hand-me-downs, reflects the collaboration between the artist, Chris Reid and the local community in Dublin 8. Celebrating the resilience of communities across decades, the publication provides a vivid demonstration of how collaborative arts practices makes and shapes civil society.

Chris Reid studied in the National College of Art and Design. He lives and works in Dublin.

For more information on Heirlooms and Hand-me-downs contact Chris,

The publication of the book Heirlooms and Hand-me-downs was supported by Create and Dublin City Arts Office.

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