Squat Culture

Rich Mix London June 5th 2017



People Show Presents Artsadmin London Nov 23th 2017






Blank History (2018-2020) will extend to a series of murals, discussions, and painting out parties, (exploring the legacy of London squat culture during the 1970's & 80's), as well as a new single channel film.  

The project explores how contributions to history are orchestrated. Particular focus is made on human response to rapid alteration of space and the sublimation of loss experienced by the transformation.

The concept is explored by concentrating on ephemerality and chance. Blank History is here to mean history created by the unforeseen consequences of power. Historical progress, viewed from this vantage, allows an investigation into who controls, in both the immediate and longer term, the trajectory of Capital, Power and Language. 


THE ERASED HEADS OF EUROPE 2018, (L-R, Joseph Bech, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman, Johan Willem Beyen, Paul-Henri Spaak, Winston Churchill, Altiero Spinelli, Sicco Mansholt, Alcide De Gasperi, Konrad Adenauer, Walter Hallstein). 2440mm x 8540mm, Acrylic, Emulsion, Varnish on board. Artsadmin Courtyard London E1 6AB. Lasts until building work completes, (Summer 2018)

ERASED HEADS OF EUROPE is a gable end size mural made to be partially painted out. The 11 founders of the EU are seated before the European Flag. The faces and nameplates are painted in thereafter painted out, as is a large section of the surrounding flag. The work references the Brexit process but does so from the perspective of blank history.  The 11 came to a collective decision based on post war evidence. History progresses on reaction to decisions, the mural reflects this.



Squat Culture Mural 2017 Rich Mix Gallery London
Acrylic on plastered wall

9000mm x 2400mm

Squat Culture Mural Painted Out 2017

Squat Culture Rich Mix June 5th Images

Squat Culture is a one off event highlighting the correlation in being an immigrant and becoming an artist. The idea took shape from my experience of encountering squat & warehouse parties after arriving to 1980's London from Ireland.

In June 2017 I hosted the first such evening event in the gallery and onstage at Rich Mix Art Centre in East London. On the night an audience was invited to the unveiling of a 9metre mural I painted in the gallery during the week leading up to the event. The image is that of a rampant River Thames engulfing the financial heart of the City. Wild beasts swept from London Zoo are carried along in the rushing tide. At the opening I invite the assembled audience to leave the gallery and travel to the stage of the venue. There, fellow Irish artist Desmond Byrne and four young immigrant artists, selected from open call, each perform a 1000 word essay on their experience of arriving/getting started in London. I introduced the speakers onstage. During their readings I departed the stage to paint out the mural. I returned to close the evening by explaining the importance of creative ephemerality and object valuelessness before inviting the audience to revisit the concealed painting.




BLANK HISTORY explores immigrant sublimation of private and tragic loss in relation to wider historical and cultural losses. A new single channel film shot in Kerry and London mixes HD and VHS imagery with personal declarations from letters from abroad. The film introduces a talk on postcolonial loss in relation to language and tradition and how loss is manifest in exile.

Film/Talk takes place at Rich Mix London 2018 and at Rio Cinema London 2019



Siamsa Mural 2016: 6m x 3m approx Siamsa Tire Gallery Ireland

Siamsa Mural Painted Out

Seeing images of the painting out of a commissioned mural for the Irish Art Centres 25th year in its present building began the process of consciously creating and then covering large-scale murals