Sourced from

Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs

Artist Name(s) Chris Reid
Artwork title Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs
Context/Background This work was commissioned through Dublin City Council's Public Art Programme, and funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government under the Per-Cent for Art Scheme arising from the renovation of social housing in Dublin’s Liberties and the refurbishment of Dublin City Council flats on Nicholas Street, Ross Road, Bride Street, and Bride Road.

‘Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs’ (2011) is a permanent public artwork created by artist Chris Reid, which comprises 20 bronze plaques and an illustrated publication. The texts reporoduced in the plaques are based on audio recordings of conversations the artist carried out from 2004 to 2008 with long-term residents and people associated with the area, capturing their memories of life in the Liberties. These plaques give historical significance to local voices by making monuments to ordinary, personal and ephemeral experiences, which are woven into the fabric of everyday life. Each contributor worked with the artist in selecting short texts for reproduction in the bronze plaques which were subsequently installed on the external red brick walls of Nicholas Street, Ross Road, Bride Street, and Bride Road, linking the residents with their past and communicating it to the wider public. These oral history accounts were also archived in an illustrated book, Heirlooms and Hand-Me-Downs, which was published by Dublin City Council in 2011.

Plaque Locations (directions to the area):

Walk up Dame Street towards Christ Church. Continue walking straight up Lord Edward Street, passing Christ Church Cathedral on your right. The 2nd turn to the left is Nicholas Street. Walk down Nicholas Street toward the red brick Victorian apartments on your left. The plaques are sited on the red brick walls of Nicholas Street, Ross Road (1st left on Nicholas Street), Bride Street (2nd left on Nicholas Street), and Bride Road which runs parallell to Nicholas Street (see map). They are installed about 7ft from the ground.


Chris Reid Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs (Dublin: Dublin City Council, 2011)

Commissioned text by Declan McGonagle:

A detailed archive, complied by Chris Reid, of publications, press & radio coverage and public presentations can be viewed here.

Written On The Tenement Walls’,, 5th September 2012

Luke Byrne ‘Multi-story apartments tell a tale’ Irish Independent, 6th September 2012

Jennifer May ‘Heirlooms & Hand-me-downs: A Living History of Dublin’, Ireland’s Big Issue, 145(9), September 2012, p.p.28 – 30


Chris Reid is a mixed-media artist, who lives and works in Dublin City. His practice often involves collaborating with communities, groups and individuals. His Curriculum Vitae can be viewed here.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Ruairi Ó Cuív, Public Arts Manager, Dublin City Council
Commissioning process Selected from an Open Submission
Project commission dates January 1, 2004 - November 30, 2011
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Dublin City Council
Percent for art Yes
Project commission start date 01/01/2004
Project commission end date 30/11/2011
Location Nicholas Street, Ross Road, Bride Street and Bride Road
County Dublin
Town Dublin
Content contributor(s) Web Editor