An old building. Not beyond use. Ripe for repurposing. I can’t see its future, I’m uncertain about its past. Its present is unprepossessing yet lures me to it. Boarded up with finger holes, ply paint peeled. I thought they were artworks when I drove past: clever silhouettes of cityscapes, real or imagined. Closer inspection revealed no hint of intelligent design. But now that I’ve told you what I thought, maybe you’ll understand why I decided to publish my photographs of them.
Is the paint peeling because of careless preparation? A distressed building was hardly dressed in distressed window boards by design.
Perhaps the building is damp or the painting was done on a wet day? It doesn’t really matter because what I see are intriguing silhouettes. I know there is nothing urbane about them. What I saw doesn’t exist. But perhaps it does when transposed to these pages, imported into the mind’s eyes of the many. Accidental art recorded with cameras that are neither colour faithful nor consistently unfaithful.
Ukraine has been very much on my mind: perhaps it was the blue over yellow that caught my eye.
Now I’m wondering about how zombie building taxes might prove useful during a housing crisis. But if your nation owns many such buildings, the conflicts of interests might favour the status quo. The Military Road itself serves to remind us that change is possible.
These windows are on the disused infirmary and surgeon’s residence of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Military Road, built c. 1730 to a design by Thomas Burgh. The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH), a government initiative, records that the building is of considerable social and historical significance in the area. Photographs I’ve seen show these boarded windows looked a lot fresher in 2013.
The Bracket Books chapbooks are available for online purchase through FabHappy but perhaps you’d prefer to enquire here. They’re published each calendar month, each copy uniquely numbered and posted at the end of each month. Prices include packaging, delivery, all currency and inflation risks.
One calendar year (12 issues):
Republic of Ireland: €135
Rest of World: €145 / UK£125 / US$14
Any one issue:
Republic of Ireland: €14
Rest of World: €15 / UK£13 / US$15
Institutions add 30%