Belonging: a project by Morag Myerscough and the people of South Dublin

7th June 2023

“I focus on belonging. I want to find out from people what it means to them. Because it may mean different things to different ages, like for the older ones it might be family, while with young ones it might be friends. I also try to see what part of it makes you feel belonged; is it just your culture or is it about talking with each other? It does not matter that you do not come from the same place but can still belong together.”

'Belonging' will be a large-scale installation within Rua Red Gallery created with, and for the people of South Dublin County. Artist Morag Myerscough will work with a diverse range of groups over a number of months to create a series of painted boards that will become the outer façade of a structural installation in Rua Red. Each board will display a statement, a pattern, and colour chosen by each individual who partakes in the process.

Morag Myerscough creates structural installations and immersive spatial works that champion community and public interaction. Her work is characterised by an engaging boldness, and strong use of colour combined with high levels of positive energy. Her strong visual approach is instantly recognisable and elevates every context in which it is placed. Her work is rooted in creating a sense of joy and belonging for all those who encounter it.

Morag works with community groups to develop ideas that reflect the identity of the users, drawing on shared cultural history and heritage of the local area. Morag’s visual vocabulary by nature and its effortless energy, resonates both visually and emotionally with audiences well beyond geographical and cultural boundaries. From schools and hospitals to cultural hubs and town centers Morag Myerscough transforms public spaces by creating engaging and transformative experiences for everyone

The process for 'Belonging' will see the gallery transformed into a production house for two weeks in the summer. Morag will travel to Ireland and alongside artists Ella Bertillsson, Alicia Raye, and Ala Buisir, deliver workshops to create the outer façade for the installation. The outer layer will be comprised of wooden boards which will be designed, painted, and fixed onto a core structure of scaffolding poles and built interiors designed by the artist and an engineer team.

The workshops will encompass, architectural design, play, use of colour, pattern, and paint. Alongside the visual art workshops, we will also deliver spoken word workshops where participants will be encouraged to focus on statements, words of representation, and affirmation. When the project is completed the panels will be distributed to the community groups that took part. The workshop series will commence with the Irish Refugee Councils Youth Work Programme and the launch of the project on Crinniu naÓg.

Morag Myerscough has completed some of the most renowned community structures in the UK and has recently received an honorary doctorate for her work from the Royal College. 'Belonging' will be her first large-scale project in Ireland. Morag Myerscough’s projects are formed around people and their sense of belonging to particular spaces and places. Her mantra is "make happy those who are near and those who are far will come." Born and bred in London, she has always lived in the city and has been fascinated by how colour, pattern, and words can change urban environments - and change peoples perceptions of spaces into places.

Image: Hadrian's Wall Community X Morag Myerscough, 2022. Photographer Chris Ison. 'The Future Belongs to What Was As Much As What Is' - North Gate, Hadrians Wall, Houseteads, Northumberland. 1900-year Anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall. Commissioned by English Heritage.