Aine & Tess
"I think its good to have a good community around your home. All of our friends live really close to each other and we know everyone on our street. ..." 
"Daddy is from Northern Ireland and he always wanted to create a family here. Just – I just want her to be pure. Just don’t want her to get into the shit that I got into when I was younger. ...”
Big Joe
“That’s me and my fathers name. And that’s my fathers nickname Poster. My father was a street fighter, he boxed in the army and I box. This one here, the girl, my son drew that, he is an artist. I’ve got two kids and a wee dog as well. An American-pitbull mix. It’s trying to rule the roost man! ...”
“He was here every day for a year, he never left. So me and Darren got him shoulder to shoulder, there’s big Alec, Joe Glover and Big Joe. He wanted the hearse to stop outside. We got his wee chair and his wee cup. Two woman walked up the street, ‘cause everyone knew him in here, they just stood and cried and cried, when they seen the chair. And they pulled one of the roses off of them flowers and put them on the coffin. ...”
"So like when people ask me oh “What side are you on?” I genuinely don’t have a side because there isn’t a side for me to have. To be fair here is probably the most at home I’ve felt in a long time though. Cause its like – we live the shittiest apartment, but I love the people and so it doesn’t matter to me, honestly. ...”
"I’m here in this street 41 years. And I’ve lived in number 10 with my Mum, my Dad, my sister and my brother. And it was always a very close-knit street. We haven’t moved very far. My Mum’s still in number 10, my sister lives number 12 and I’m number 4. It’s such great support. – I’m a homebird I think. ...”
"I think if I had a place whereI was happy, you know really contented, I think I would get a lot more years. You haven't got the heart here. I was going to do a wee flower garden there, but you haven't got the heart to do it. ...”
"Belfast will always be a part of us. It's the place we grew up, it's like you know, our stomping ground. Everyone who lives here will always have a piece of memory from Belfast. ...”​​​​​​​
“Here’s a good place ‘cause it’s familiar. I’ve been raised around here, you know. It’s the Belfast accent, it’s the “what ‘bout ye’” and the “what’s the craic” an’ all. It’s a great place to live just, we need to improve it at a few corners like. If people here understood there is no difference, we’re all from Belfast – it’s home! ...”
“So, then there was a big bit of bare muck. The grass hadn’t grown under the mat. My friends they fixed my garden, you know. I just mowed it for the first time the other day. It almost looks uniform again. I planted a hazel tree, in the very spot where she died. I had the tree sitting in a pot there, trying to decide, for ages: Will I do that? Is that weird? and then I was like: No, that’s good. That feels right. ...”
"I’m very much a Homebird. My sisters all stayed here as well. The connections are just so much, but it’s that homeliness that you feel you do know somebody. And I mean there’s this huge divide thing but underneath everybody has the same stories and the same life. ...”​​​​​​​
“I simply became part of the community because I loved someone. Even coming from a place like Ardoyne it was nothing but accepting towards me, it was nothing but love, it was love and it was community. ...”
“The peaceful present and hopeful future of a city like Belfast is still being made right now by people that follow their passions. These are the people that run on joy or maybe even love, but not fear. All these emotions are infective. ...”
Homebird is an intimate portrayal of Belfast, opening a dialogue to recognise the common ground within individual narratives. This series gathers personal accounts, through portraiture and audio recordings, aiming to relinquish Belfast’s stereotypical representation. By delving into the deeply rooted connection between place and identity, I’m seeking to understand Belfast as home. This has led to a collection of intimate portraits and connections.
Homebird is based on my longing to engage with the city and build upon collaborations.
Since I moved to Belfast four years ago I’ve been confronted with its negative representation. But I found myself in a place where people no longer serve as tokens and symbols of the past. Through this work I’ve begun to understand Belfast as a place and as my home.
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