Patria (Fatherland)


The etymology of the word Patria, from the Latin for “father,” (pater) is also related to the English word patriot.

Patria was a series of mixed media installations completed in 1994 that explored theories of Irish nationalism and ‘Irishness’.

Colonised communities (such as Ireland) employ a variety of nationalist motifs to establish acts of resistance. Historically these motifs have been used to foster accord through narratives of national pride, created by re-purposing historical symbols to fit a collective narrative. Conversely such narratives tend to have a disaffecting outcome upon Irish national identity as they can generate a highly romanticised version of identity.

Patria consisted of 32 plaster cast garden gnomes (one for each county in Ireland) installed on grass tufts and on a full-size football pitch (with raised text, in Glasgow). Music speakers with pre-recorded/edited sounds of nationalist and unionist melodies, activated by sensors, accompanied the installation.

Editions of Patria were installed in the Baltic Art Gallery, Ustka, Poland, Old Fruit Market, Glasgow, Scotland and Galerie + Edition Caoc, Berlin, Germany in 1994.

Project slideshow

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