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Transit Gateway - Mapping Phase 2: Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection

15th March 2017
TRANSIT GATEWAY Mapping Phase 2: 'Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection' is the second of nine seminars that charts the evolving changes of the historic port over the centuries to the present day. TRANSIT GATEWAY Mapping Phase 2: 'Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection' is the second of nine seminars that charts the evolving changes of the historic port over the centuries to the present day.

#TransitGateway - As part of “Dublin Port Perspectives”, Transit Gateway is a project that documents the transitional changes of the shape of Dublin Port from its medieval shoreline to its current infrastructure.

Following the recent introductory seminar of Transit Gateway, the second out of nine seminars, titled “Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection” takes place on Wednesday 29 March in the LAB Gallery, Foley Street, Dublin (for times and to book tickets online see details below).

The changes of the port as a gateway to the city bring to mind the void of communication of the 18th century, the forced emigrations of the 19th century, the modern context of maritime holiday migration that shaped the 20th century, and which now extends itself to the cruise business the 21st century, and how cargo volumes changed over the centuries in terms of goods, locations and quantity.

Transit Gateway is an artistic mapping cartography that will show the changing connections of the city and the port throughout the years, and how the port as a gateway creates a vital connection of the city with the wider world. In collaboration with partners and the local community, the artist Silvia Loeffler has been commissioned by Dublin Port Company to create a social and collaborative artistic mapping project that looks at the port ‘s transitional phases over a time period of 9 months.

A large-scale installation series loosely based on the various maps used by H.A. Gilligan in his “History of the Port of Dublin” is currently being created, and the works are displayed in the Terminal 1 Building in Dublin Port. Each month, a new map layer will be added to the installation.

As previously outlined, each month a specific seminar will be held in the LAB on Foley Street, in order ‘to bring the port back into the city’ which will accompany the map layer.

The second seminar “Dublin Port from 1708 to 1785 / Walls of Protection” takes place on Wednesday 29 March (18.15-20.00) in the LAB Gallery, Foley Street off Talbot Street, Dublin.        

The event is free, but places are limited. Please make sure to register by clicking HERE.

We will discuss the cultural meanings of Dublin’s port location and it’s long-running problem of silting and the mouth of the river Liffey by looking at the Ballast Office Act of 1708 to secure naval commerce. The Ballast Office Committee proposed a new direct channel for the river Liffey above Ringsend and to build retaining walls along the new river boundaries. Important features of 18th century city life and Dublin Port included the establishment of City Quay and Sir Rogerson’s Quay (1716-1720s) on the south bank of the river, and the erection Gandon’s Custom House, which commenced in 1781 on the north bank.

Dublin was considered as one of the most dangerous ports in Europe and severe tidal stress gave reason to the construction of the Great South Wall. The wall became a geographical landmark, and, in its architectural as well as in its psychological functions, a symbol of protection. This period in time also sees the building of the Poolbeg Lighthouse, the first lighthouse at the end of the great wall, which was operated by using candles in a huge lantern. On the evening of 29 September 1767, large crowds stood on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to witness the first light shine out to Dublin Bay.

We hope that you are able to join us with the discussion of Dublin Port and the City of this particular era, which may be seen as evoking the early thrills and pains of a maritime metropolis.

Speaker panel:
Fiona McDonald (architect / artist)
Rob Goodbody (built heritage specialist)
Eamon McElroy (port engineer)

The Transit Gateway seminars are part of a wider public engagement programme for Port Perspectives 2017. They are funded by Dublin Port Company and the LAB Gallery.

Dublin Port's 2017 Port Perspectives / Engagement Programme has been developed in collaboration with Dublin City Council, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, UCD School of Architecture, National College of Art and Design, Irish Architecture Foundation, Create [the National Collaborative Arts Agency] and Business to Arts.

Dr. Silvia Loeffler is an artist, researcher and educator in Visual Culture. She is the organiser of the Transit Gateway seminars, funded by Dublin Port Company, and run in close collaboration with the LAB. This seminar series will continue until October 2017 and is part of Silvia's artistic cartography 'Transit Gateway: A Deep Mapping of Dublin Port'.

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