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Transit Gateway Mapping Phase 6: Dublin Port from 1930-1946 / Emergency

12th July 2017
The Transit Gateway project is at Mapping Phase 6: Dublin Port from 1930 to 1946 / Emergency. To book a place at the next seminar make sure to register The Transit Gateway project is at Mapping Phase 6: Dublin Port from 1930 to 1946 / Emergency. To book a place at the next seminar make sure to register

#TransitGateway - Transit Gateway A Deep Mapping of Dublin Port by Silvia Loeffler continues with the next seminar to take place on 26 July. 

The Transit Gateway project is at Mapping Phase 6: Dublin Port from 1930 to 1946 / Emergency

The event is to be held at the following time, date and location:
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 from 18:15 to 20:15  
The LAB Gallery
1 Foley Street, Dublin

As part of “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. Transit Gateway is an artistic mapping cartography that shows 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.

Each month, a specific seminar, which is held in the LAB on Foley Street, in order ‘to bring the port back into the city’, accompanies a specific map layer.

“Dublin Port from 1930 to 1946/ Emergency” is the sixth seminar in this series. According to Lloyd’s Register, the average size steamship had worldwide increased by 60 % between 1900 and 1928, and berthing facilities for large vessels very incredibly expensive. We will refer to the port in Saorstat Eireann, where the tribunal report of 1930 stated that, “the public generally do not, we fear, appreciate the importance of our harbours as a vital part of the country’s economic structure […]”.

1932 was going to be a major challenge for the Port, as the Eucharistic Congress would be held in Dublin, with seven large ocean liners plus extra cross-channel passenger services from Liverpool and Glasgow coming in. Masses were held on board of the ships, and the transit shed at the Crossberth at the North Wall Extension, which had formerly housed gear to generate electricity, became equipped with temporary altars to provide service on land to the pilgrims.

60 years after Bindon Blood Stoney supervised the men in the Diving Bell excavating soil from the riverbed of the Liffey to make room for the first 350 ton concrete block, the North Wall Extension was finally completed in 1937, with the re-positioning of the North Wall Lighthouse at its extremity. By the end of 1938 more and more land was being reclaimed in the heartland of the port, and the work of two jetties had begun in order to accommodate the by now numerous oil tankers arriving, and to connect these jetties with a tank farm that would store crude oil before it was going into a planned refinery.

In 1939, these plans were abandoned, and as a result of the outbreak of WW II, restrictions and censorship were introduced by the Emergency Powers Order. All movement, public media correspondence, communications and supplies that concerned ships, aircraft and lighthouses were put under governmental control. The building of the Ocean Pier commenced, which may be seen as a continuation of Alexandra Quay, and a new warehouse – later known as Stack D – was designed. The Crossberth Shed that had been transformed into a place of service for the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 became a briquette manufacturing plant during the WW II years, as coal for dredging was once again difficult to obtain.

In September 1945, refugees who were mainly from the Baltic States arrived in small fishing vessels and yachts into Dublin Port, travelling the distance that would be the first stage of their journey into the New World.

We hope that you are able to join us with the discussion of this particular era, where one of the largest eucharistic congresses of the 20th century was held in Dublin City. Within the historical time span of only 16 years, its Port adapted to the mass visit of celebrating pilgrims, and, on a more sombre level, to the emergency situations of war and evacuation. We will elaborate on the meanings of “emergency” in a historical as well as in a contemporary Irish maritime context, and we will connect associations of religious mission and migration with the wider world.

Speaker panel:
Joe Varley (maritime historian)
Fiona Loughnane (researcher in Visual Culture)
Annabel Konig (artist)

NOTE REGISTER TO BOOK: This seminar is the sixth in a series of nine. The event is free, but places are limited. Please make sure to register here.

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'.

For more on the bio of each of the speakers, scroll down the page, click here.


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