Unapproved Roads


A mountainous stretch of green flesh stretches into grey, spattered with a tapestry of veins spiralling across and alongside this borderless borderland.
These little veins remember the years they bled out; slit, punctured, ruptured. The soil that was spilt nestles below the tarmac surface - pain is harboured here, humming beneath the black earth.

There was a hard border on the island of Ireland once before. During the early period of the conflict in Northern Ireland, the British Army detonated hundreds of the sprawling roads that traversed the southern border.

In defiance, the local communities collected every handful of dislodged soil they could find and rebuilt the roads from the same material that was blown out of them, risking their lives in the process.

Today, the Irish border is one that oscilates between presence and absence. In the landscape it is mostly absent, save for the continuous appearance and disappearance of the Irish language from traffic signage as you weave north and south. As such, this investigatory dig into the Irish border mostly consists of my search for it. Is it beyond that hedge or before the gate?

Welcome to the new, elusive and crumbling edge of the European Union.