On The Ropes, Áine Power

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The aim of this publication is to challenge the Viking representation of a post-industrial landscape by interrogating and documenting the cultural practice of ‘The Fishery’ in Arklow. The Fishery has been unstable for decades due to the appalling working conditions of the harbour, erosion of the area and the pollution of cyanide and acid in the river caused by industries. Subsequently, leisure was important in giving meaning and coping with the realities of the environment. The fixed Viking representation acts as a veil of appropriate representation, which in turn, creates a sense of shame around the now derelict and polluted surroundings. In reference to Stuart Hall, culture can be understood as the shared meanings of a society. Therefore, cultural practice is the exchanging of these meanings, through participants, who produce and give value to a place or objects. These meanings and values rarely have one fixed interpretation. The publication seeks to ground the cultural practice of the area through testimonials, essays and home photography. This provides an ethnographic approach to visualising cultural practice which gives a framework of intelligibility that will make active participants in breaking down the distorted cultural image of the town.

154pp. | 250 x 150mm

Multidisciplinary designer based in Dublin and recent master’s graduate fromTechnological University Dublin.