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Establishing State

Work in progress, 2019


The result of a year’s research, Establishing State, explores themes of nation-building and the production of national identity. While the initial stimulus for this work was archival research into the establishment of Northern Ireland as a political entity, the aim is to position this event within the wider geopolitical framework of emerging small states in the aftermath of world war one. These small countries, such as Armenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland, had developed a sense of unique identity with the rise of nationalism during the nineteenth century. The aspirations of these countries were expressed in declarations of independence, using a lexicon which has become common again in public debate.


Establishing State is a multi-faceted, immersive installation which incorporates three dimensional, two dimensional and audio works. It adapts and anonymises public domain images, architectural drawings, bureaucratic documents and the content of declarations of independence. The objective in experimenting with the material has been to develop ways of manifesting the shared tropes within a conceptual and physical framework.

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