Artist Name(s) Christine Mackey
Artwork title RIVERwork[s]
Context/Background The context for this commission was the refurbishment of a large number of local authority houses in the Doorly Park area in County Sligo, where many of the residents have a strong affinity with the nearby river and parklands. A vacant gatehouse was made available to artist Christine Mackey, as a daytime base and studio. This was also open to local people and the public to engage with the artist.


An artist's book derived from the artists explorations of the harbour in Sligo and up river to Lough Gill. The work is based on the artists photography, filming, drawing and research into peoples local knowledge including walkers, residents and fishermen. 

Mackey spent much time in the Sligo County Reference Library, Dublin libraries and the Royal Irish Academy, researching historical sources, place names and maps.  

The language of geography and how it describes the formation of rivers was also a subject of research, which led to new drawings and mappings. Mackey made contact with many experts, specialists, public officials and local record keepers collecting a huge amount of information on an array of subjects, related to the significance of the Garavogue, Lough Gill and the wider landscape of the area. 

This exploratory process, taking many directions, was grounded by Mackey's presence and connection with people developed through her occupation of an abandoned gate lodge in Doorly Park, where she set up studio for three months and her regular website diary of discoveries. Her meticulous research has led to the publication of this book, which is a record of an area and an invaluable resource for the city.


A monthly diary was posted on this link: Sligo Arts Website


Christine Mackey was born in Co. Kilkenny and lives in North Leitrim. She is engaged with site-specific practices grounded in the geography of place and the re-orientation of the artist-as-traveller, researcher and note-taker, initiating a new role as social cartographer. Her work explores the variable manifestations of drawing and mapping as a visual mode of enquiry, mediating between information and place, situated knowledge and community practice. She is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at the University of Ulster, Belfast.

Commission Type Local Authority,Other
Commissioner Name Sligo County Council
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Location Doorly Park, Cleveragh Demesne, Lough Gill, County Sligo
County Sligo
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Website www.studiochristinemackey.com/
Content contributor(s) Mary McDonagh
Relationship to project Project Manager/Public Art Officer



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Nazareth Housing Association provides independent living houses for individuals and couples who are 65 and over and on the Sligo County Council housing list.  Nazareth Village is comprised of 48 houses in a garden setting.  The Village was financed as a public-private partnership between Nazareth Housing Association and Sligo County Council with funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  

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