Projects / A Fair Land


This major project was initiated as a reform programme for Dublin's Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), which sought to review its longstanding residency programme.

We moved our entire methodology to the museum for several months, creating an artist-led functional system for living on site. The ambition of the project was to create meaningful things and experiences from the bare minimum in terms of materials, without decoration or embellishment, no unnecessary elements.

Craft formed the foundation of the project ethos: A number of Making Stations (by Tom Watt & Tanad Williams & Andreas Von Knoblauch) occupied a large part of the museum courtyard, where with only a short investment of time, members of the public could make simple, useful craft objects to take away - slippers, pots, aprons etc. There were also products for sale and even currency available to buy them with.

'A Fair Land' started with a multi-purpose crop - in this case a fast and easy one - courgettes! These were cultivated and processed in two bespoke structures by Somewhere & public works - 'Glut'. Several hundred young plants were grown locally to plant into a spectacular straw-bale plot, and from that crop we developed products that could be made on site and an economy.

The second element of 'Glut' was a large double-height barn where food was prepared and stored, and demonstrations were held.

The project was set in motion with an open call for volunteers as per Grizedale policy – and from those volunteers a group was developed who then developed and delivered the core project. The group became known as the Fairland Collective.

A further series of groups supported different elements from the day to day delivery, interpretation and publication elements. Visit the YouTube channel for the project to see Maria Benjamin's films on how to make the project's simple craft products.

A further series of one-off commissions/performances & talks embellished the programme adding a sparkle of celebrity. These were often artists that had connections with Grizedale and worked with similar concerns: the idea of art as a social force, an action rather than an artefact.

The project delivery was made possible by many loyal and hardworking volunteers whom we thank heartily.