We Are Islanders: Dyeing with the Rising Tide

by Rosie O'Reilly 3 years ago
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4/704 is a visual art project by Rosie O’Reilly as part of the We Are Islanders clothing label. Inspired by her Mum Catherine O’Reilly 1950-2013

There are 704 high tides a year. This installation physically recorded 4 of them and transfered the mark of their rise and fall onto garments over 48 hours highlighting our vulnerability in the face of rising sea levels.

‘4 of 704’ is a visual installation that used rising tide levels to invite discussions about our changing landscapes – physical, social and cultural. In an urban and Dublin context, cycles that exist around us, like rising tides, go mainly unnoticed until they hit a tipping point. In its physical context a rising tide line can represent a system under pressure, a breaking point. In the case of global climate change this has resulted in landmasses engulfed in water and human struggle. Irish sea levels will rise by ½ metre by the end of the century, flooding and coastal storm surges will become the norm and Dublin will face this struggle. (NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute) New York’s visit from Sandy has left the mark of rising sea levels around its bay and now an unseen tide mark exists on their economic, political and human systems as they struggle to adapt.

On a metaphorical level and in socio-cultural terms a rising tide can also represent revolt, change, stress, apathy anything that builds with time. These rising levels dominate our personal, physical and social landscapes, yet are rarely noticed until a system collapses or a risen tide falls.

The socio-cultural zone of fast fashion has increasingly been home to rising tides and tipping points. An industry engulfed in human and environmental violations – where livelihoods and habitats are played out in the game of global economics – it becomes the symbolic canvas to record 4 of Dublin’s annual 704 high tides.

There are 704 high tides a year. This installation physically records 4 of them and transfers their mark onto 7 sustainably produced garments over 48 hours on Sandymount Strand. Over two days the 7 garments constructed for this project were dipped using oceanic rhythms into a dye vat stamping them with a once-off mark; a texturized time lapse. ‘4 of 704’ aims to engage Dublin in this discussion around rising tides and the changing landscape of our time and the systemic teachings of simple structures that exist around us.

This installation has been designed in a low-tech appropriate manner using reclaimed materials where possible. The design brief is also that it is transportable and the ultimate goal is that the installation will be mobile and is installed at different costal or sea water points nationally and internationally. Each following instillation will create a different mark of a different rising tide on a different set of garments.

We are Islanders: Rosie O’Reilly, Kate Nolan, Deirdre Hynds
Design: Design Goat (Cian Corcoran & Ahmad Fakhry)
Sound Artists: The Electro Bank Collective (Mark Colbert & Mark Murphy), Slavek Kwi
Production: Susanna Lagan
Engineer: Dudley Stewart
Photography: Sean & Yvette
Dye r&d: Elisa Monahan

Built By:
Mark Colbert, Steve Reddy, Peter O’Gara, Gildas O’Laoire, Des Moriarty, Pat McIntyre, Olivia Hegarty, Sam Weber, Sean Breithaupt, Annie Howlett, Joanne O’Reilly, Rory Kennedy, Cathal Kenny, Jack Gorman, Declan Morrisey, Davan Byrne, Alison O’Reilly, Peter Murray, Trevor O’Rourke

With Thanks To:
Fundits!, Le Cool, South Studios, Shane Cox, Niamh Kirwan, Clare Nally

A film by Heather Thornton

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