Artist Name(s) Rhona Byrne
Artwork title Home
Context/Background In the 1960's Dublin City Council embarked on a housing project, consisting of single-family terraced houses, seven story apartment blocks and high-rise tower blocks, located in Ballymun on the periphery of Dublin's north city suburbs. In 1997, Dublin City Council drew up a plan to start demolishing the estate as a part of a ten-year regeneration project. The project Home responded to this regeneration process.

In response to the regeneration of Ballymun in Dublin, over a two year period, Rhona developed a project called Home working closely with the Ballymun racing pigeon club and the residents of the tower blocks to be demolished.

Speaking about the project the artist stated "The homing instinct of a homing pigeon, its natural and basic instinct to gravitate towards a man made habitation fascinated me, along with a curiosity for the relationship between man and this incredible bird. Through my research I found that for many years pigeon racing has been an integral element to Ballymun. I found that it was common practice for residents to keep pigeon lofts on the balconies of the flats and that Ballymun had its own pigeon club which has been situated on the ground floor of the Shangan block of flats since the early 1970's. I endeavored to make contact with this club and in May 2002 I was introduced to Tommy Nelson the secretary of Ballymun Pigeon Club. Tommy then introduced me to the members of the pigeon club and a project entitled home began the collaborative process of engagement."

She collected wishes from the local residents and with the homing pigeon club, organized an event releasing hundreds of pigeons, carrying the wishes on their legs, from the balconies of one of the tower blocks. The project created an opportunity for the residents to express individual emotional reactions and aspirations during this time of change. The process was documented and was later presented in the Axis Arts Centre in 2004 along with a Young Pigeon Auction on the opening night. A book was also published documenting the process in 2004.


An essay by Rhona Byrne describing the project was published by Create for the publication Four Essays 2009 http://www.create-ireland.ie/professional-development/artist-in-the-community-scheme-four-essays.html

An online description of the project by the artist is on Create website  

An award winning publication was designed by Atelier David Smith.

Essays by artist Mark Garry were published in Contexts Magazine, and Backflash magazine, Canada in 2005. 

A film of the project was shown at Green Screen, ICA, Sydney, 2008


Rhona Byrne was born and is based in Dublin. She is currently on a three year residency at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. She has received a BA in Fine Art Sculpture from NCAD in 2004. Byrne's work explores and engages with the multilayered workings of the built environment and navigates intangible and transient layers of physical, mental and social space. She has undertaken residencies at the Irish Museum of Modern Art; The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh; The Firestation Artists Studios; Haus der Architektur, Graz, Austria. She has been commissioned by Dublin City Council, Cork City Council and The Office of Public Works and has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland with an Artist in the Community Award 2004, Bursary Award 2008 and a New Work Project Award 2008. Recent exhibitions Nothing is impossible, The Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh, 2010; Architectures of Control, Radar, Loughborough University, Uk 2009; Work in Space, Connaught House, Dublin, 09; It's a Roller Coaster, with Four Gallery at the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin 2008.

Commission Type The Arts Council
Commissioning process Independently initiated by the artist
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By The Arts Council,Dublin City Council,Other
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Location Ballymun, Dublin 
County Dublin
Town Ballymun
Street Address Shangan Road 
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Rhona Byrne
Relationship to project Artist and Initiator 
Public engagement

The Ballymun pigeon club and local residents of Ballymun were involved in the project

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

The event was documented with the help of John Paul le Bon, Mark Garry, Katherine Lamb, Corban Walker, John Paul Murphy, Conor Byrne, Aida Bangoura and Sean Hillen.



Commission Call Cavan and Monaghan ETB Per Cent for Art project

24 July 2017

Cavan and Monaghan ETB Per Cent for Art project for Castleblaney College can be found on etenders.ie. Title: RFT 121646 Per cent for Art...More..

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Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.

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