Repair Acts, Ireland took our work into a rural context, specifically the midlands county of Westmeath in Ireland. Drawing on our cartography, declaration and story gathering methods we collaborated with the geographer, Dr. Clavin, University College Dublin and partners Westmeath County Council (Environmental and Heritage Officers and the Public Participation Network), to established and create a year long programme of activities that enabled our approach to become more deeply embedded within a regional, rural context.
Working across the county of Westmeath, the first phase of Repair Acts, Ireland was funded by Creative Ireland, Creative Climate Action Fund. Over 2023, we will be working to establish the next phase of the project by continuing to work with Westmeath County Council and the councils regional arts officers, galleries, heritage and environment professions.
Over 2022, the first phase of Repair Acts, Ireland included designing and delivering 40 workshops and events, across the region. Working with local communities, repair enthusiast and experts, DIY hobbyists and passionate amateurs to build the “People’s Archive of Everyday Repair” that is a contemporary collection of the ‘things’ we repair and why we repair them.
With a focus on Westmeath, we drew on archival material to understand historical and contemporary repair craft heritages and economies in the county. With our documentary ‘Turning the Collar’ reflecting on the joys and challenges such professions face.
Focusing on Westmeath, we created Ireland’s First Repair Declaration, that is a crowd-sourced set of statements, actions and intentions that people can get behind so as to activate our “Right to Repair” and help foster more repair-centred local actions in your community, town, village or neighbourhood.
This Declaration alongside a discussion on how we can take it forward was hosted at our Exhibition and Féile on 3-6th Nov, 2022 in Kilbeggan, Westmeath. The Exhibition and Féile provide an overview of our first year’s journey and work. Activating local community and vacant spaces. New mixed media art works, alongside the world première of ‘Turning the Collar’ which took place at St. James Hall, Kilbeggan with free to attend discussions, performances and workshops on mending and fixing taking place at the library, Distillery, community hub and other locations.