Killruddery: Listening to the Archive (2019-23)

Since May 2019, I have been a peripatetic artist-in-residence at Killruddery House & Gardens in Bray, County Wicklow as part of a practice-based PhD at SMARTlab at the Inclusive Design Research Centre of Ireland, University College Dublin, generously funded by the Irish Research Council.  Killruddery is a beautiful estate with original 17th century ornamental gardens, home to the Brabazon family and the seat of the Earl and Countess of Meath. The family’s ancestor Sir William Brabazon was brought over to Ireland by King Henry VIII during the dissolution of the monasteries and rose to the rank of Vice-Chancellor. For his loyal service he was gifted the former St.Thomas’ Abbey in The Liberties, Dublin in 1539, and the estate came with a summer house for the monks at Killruddery. The family have been living at Killruddery since 1618 and their archives trace a long and complex history of their life in Ireland.

Killruddery is open to the public as a heritage site and hosts events, film sets, weddings, as well as a regular farmer’s market and recreational activities.

The research explores some of the untold and unheard stories of the Killruddery estate not found in the guidebooks, to create a hauntological sound trail The Ancestors, in which key objects, images and narratives from the written archives are summoned using 3D audio technologies, re-enactment and enchantment. The sonic spectres of the archive are situated in the grounds of the estate, creating an interactive, immersive sound trail via geo-location platform Echoes, and will be available to experience after an invited preview event on June 30th 2022.

The project is funded by the Irish Research Council and the Killruddery Estate