Ship Street 2020

A Compendium of Understandings Volume 1

It is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident any more.

Theodore Adorno 1969

futurepastpresent is a community engaged art project dedicated to investigating the site, Ship Street, in all its facets to attempt to understand how best to address its past, current state and its future development. As a result of this year’s work we are publishing our findings online. Contributions look at the street from a number of perspectives including history, the built fabric of the street, living with the flooding that continues to beset the street and what it’s like to be trying to buy a home today. We also look at other artistic ventures that correlate with futurepastpresent and how, in 2012, Ship Street itself inspired local community art making. ‘A Compendium of Understandings, Vol. 1’ is yet another example of that.

In this phase of the project we have been supported by Creative Ireland (Louth) and with funding from them have been able to engage conservation architect, Caroline Whately, on the project. Caroline has delved deeper into the history of the street, surveyed it in part, completed a condition report on No. 18 and suggests a possible future for the street while retaining its historic and aesthetic uniqueness.

Upstate and its associate artists and collaborators are enabled to do this work with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland. Vivienne Byrne has been working with us to design this current response which is volume one of what will be a series of responses that we create and build upon between all collaborators.

The publication is freely available for download below. You can also listen to the excerpts from boat builders and former residents, Oliver Collins, Jack ‘Pops’ Lowth and James ‘Billo’ Lowth who share their knowledge of boat building in Ship Street. Just click on the track below.

Upstate Theatre Project are interested in all responses to the project and welcome your thoughts and ideas. We can be reached by email at or by phone on 041 9844226. If you would like to become involved or have advice and knowledge to share with us please do get in contact.