In Search of Hy-Brasil derives from an intense engagement with the islands of Ireland and is a direct provocation to all of us to reimagine the vast combined territory of land and ocean we call our home. Geographically remote and mainly peripheral to contemporary discourse, our islands are by necessity robust, resilient and inventive places. They have long been a significant crucible for language, music and song bound up with lived experience and support a rich and unique biodiversity. Their small communities, existing on the margins of viability, have embedded in their social order and cultural memory a deep knowledge and understanding of the ocean, land and resource management and the practice of maintaining sustainable environments. They’ve long thrived successfully and creatively with less while building and nurturing a rich and complex ecology.
We are an island nation facing an uncertain future. The challenges of climate change, renewable energy, ethical food production and biodiversity must be met quickly, with purpose, renewing the lost equilibrium between ourselves and the natural world. In making this adjustment, our islands’ inventiveness in the face of adversity and creativity in response to having less provides us with the necessary tools and narratives to inspire more sustainable ways of living.
Ireland’s national pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023, puts our islands’ diverse communities, culture and experiences right at the centre of the discourse surrounding our shared future. To the forefront of our imagination. The installation offers an immersive experience that shifts between the local and the territorial, the micro and the macro, to make explicit the implicit intelligence of these most remarkable of places.