March - June 2003: Limerick Memories - more info

Quotations from two curators, and two artist's statements by Chris Reid which were published in two separate exhibition catalogues

"Christopher Reid, who with other artists, works with memory – particularly memories of Limerick inhabitants – to recreate erased history. He has been interviewing people in the city, taking photographs, and gathering information on the city itself through the individual gaze and experience of the common passer-by. It is a reconstruction of public history through private stories."

Virginia Perez Ratton, curator, ev+a 2003 catalogue


Artist's statement by Chris Reid about his 'Limerick Memories' exhibition, included in the Exhibition of Visual Art 2003, at Limerick City Gallery of Art. The following text was published in the catalogue titled "ev+a 2003 - On the border of each other".

Over the course of this exhibition I have undertaken to meet and talk with a broad range of people living in Limerick. This social activity is the research from which the work evolves. During these meetings I record narratives and fragments that articulate personal experiences of living in the city. I record for sound only, transcribe the material, and edit it into discreet texts that can be mapped onto specific sites in the city. Posters are made of these texts. Over the course of the exhibition these are fly posted onto walls and street furniture in each specific site. A photograph is taken of each. I then paste a copy of each poster onto a wall in Limerick City Gallery of Art, which becomes a point of coherence for my fragmented actions. During the last weeks of the exhibition I will make a limited-edition book using the photographs taken of those texts fly posted around Limerick City. The end result, I hope, will be an exhibition that hovers somewhere between myself and others, between narrative and experience, between being public and private, between dispersing and cohering into a representation of Limerick through living memory.

"Christopher Reid's Limerick Memories is an unprecedented intersection of divergent practices. His bookwork makes legible a complex process that incorporates active public engagement with city residents, oral history, photography, printmaking and explicit site specificity. Despite the multi-layered mediation that brings us these compelling narratives, the viewer feels an immediate connection to their sources."

Richard Torchia,
IONTAS Sligo Art Gallery Fourteenth National Small Works Art Exhibition 2003 catalogue


Artist's statement about his book 'Limerick Memories' which was exhibited at the IONTAS Sligo Art Gallery Fourteenth National Small Works Art Exhibition 2003. The text was published in the catalogue.

A description of the work leading to the making of the book Limerick Memories:

I spoke to forty people of their experiences living in Limerick. This social aspect was the research from which the work evolved. To avoid clichés and stereotypes I interviewed across class, race, religion, nationality, gender, sexuality etc – what all the participants have in common is that they live in Limerick. I recorded oral narratives for sound only. Using edited transcripts, I wrote up a series of thirty-five texts. Each text told a different experience of displacement. Each text was given the form of a poster. Each was given the same typographical treatment. Each text was told through the first person singular. Together they make up a fragmented group of disembodied, nameless voices that map personal experiences of displacement on to specific parts of the city. This narrative has no closure, no completeness and no coherent or whole identity. Each of these text pieces/posters were fly posted in small batches back into the specific places where they originated. Both site and poster were then carefully photographed.

In gathering the photographs and binding them into a book I explicitly bound these fragments into a larger narrative. This larger narrative anxiously hovers between using neither self nor other, between image and text, between narrative and experience, between being authoritative yet hysterical, between being public yet uncomfortably private, included yet excluded, in place yet displaced, and between dispersing and cohering into a representation of Limerick through living memory.


Limerick Memories appeared in the following exhibitions

  • Limerick Memories Exhibition. Exhibition of Visual Art, ev+a 2003 On the border of each other. Limerick City Gallery of Art and other sites, March – June 2003

  • Limerick Memories (Book) IONTAS Sligo Art Gallery, fourteenth National Small Works Exhibition (Award Winner); Sligo Art Gallery, August – October 2003; Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, October – November 2003; Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, November – December 2003.

  • 9th Wexford Artists Book Exhibition, Wexford Arts Centre, September – November 2003



Many thanks to all the people who spoke to me and gave me their time. Thanks also to the following groups who helped me meet many of these contributors.

  • Our Lady of Lourdes Action Centre

  • Southhill Youth Intervention Project

  • ALGEEF, Limerick Travellers Development Group

  • Doras Luimni, Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon friends

  • Docas

  • Limerick Islamic Cultural centre

  • O'Malley Park Family Resource Centre

  • Irish Wheelchair Association

  • Limerick Youth Service

  • Queen of Peace Community Activities.