Bus stop- Ballykinler

'BUS STOP'- Ballykinler/Ballykinlar. Young Adults Forum. 25 July - 9 August 2009.

Opening hours: Wed-Sat 1-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm, Late Night Art 1-9pm
Installation of a mobile bus stop and multimedia portrait of a creative community initiative in Co. Down.

'The bus stop project is a bit of craic. It gives us something to do as there is fuck all else here. It's keeping us on the street and bringing the young people together.'

Ballykinler Young Adults Forum: Anne-Marie Dillon, William Granleese, Tommy Warnock, Michael Robb, Marty Robb, Gavin Robb, Dean Murray, Corey Gibson, Ryan Crozier, Lisa Crozier, Nathan Crozier, Anthony Killen,  Shauna Killen, Anthony Magelan, Shamar Hook, Curtis Trainor, Ashlene Trainor, Jeneifer Mageean, Stephen Kelly, Andrew Kelly, Lorna Lundy

Open air community centre: Wednesday coffee mornings and activities in Ballykinler, 2009. Image: A-M. Dillon

With its seaside location and the Mourne Mountains as a backdrop, the small village of Ballykinler in Co. Down seems idyllic. Unless you take a wrong turn and end up at the gated compounds of a long established British Army site? A complex situation, not just for the two different spellings of its name on road signs.
How do you live there as a young person? How do you make changes or at least influence the social infrastructure? And where does art fit into all of this? 

Meeting in the parish hall with police and political representatives, standing on a map of the village made by Anne-Marie Dillon. The model map shows the army camp, the Gaelic foottball pitch, the rugby field and scattered housing.Image: A-M. Dillon, 2009

Anne-Marie Dillon, artist and co-founder of the Ballykinler Community Association and the initiator of many activities in her home village, brought together a group of young people to work on small projects, to have fun and to kick-start a process of creative engagement with the social and built environment.
Bus stop was originally built outside a disused school in the centre of the village. The Community Association has argued for years that this should be used as a community centre- a recent request was again refused. The installation highlighted the fact that there isn’t a sheltered bus stop and the direct action revealed the lack of social provision, the divisions in the village and the opposition to a proper bus stop from parts of the community in fear of anticipated vandalism.
For PS², the bus stop is re-assembled together with a personal documentation of the history of the Community Association; its past and present projects, the community structures, stakeholders and fractions, struggles, achievements and set backs. A history of an initiative which set out to provide social and creative activities for the small village in the past ten years; from ad hoc child care to youth disco’s, from shopping tours for elderly people to water sports for the youth. What distinguishes these social activities from other initiatives, is the strong artistic element which makes these events into happenings or performances.

Installation view PS²

This project is seen in connection with an ongoing programme by PS² of art initiatives in a rural context. How difficult it is to introduce art and creativity into a smaller town or village in Northern Ireland is exemplified with this initiative by the Community Association in Ballykinler. It shows the wide gap between urban and rural conditions in terms of cultural provision, desires and political preconceptions.

Temporary community centre, October 2009. Image: A-M. Dillon

This project is supported with funding from the RHYZOM research project. For more information see

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