HARD/GRAFT towards community orchards and sustainable cities

Thursday 15th November at 7.00pm – 8.15pm. Richmond Barracks, Inchicore, Dublin 8

Common Ground is delighted to host a panel discussion and presentations on the issue of sustainable cities, greening Dublin City, land access, food access, spaces of commoning and public sites in urban space.

The Speakers are: artist Seoidin O’Sullivan HARD/GRAFT, Professor Gerald Mills and Dr. Mary Forrest from UCD.

Please go to Eventbrite to book a free ticket.


It is a sustainable community orchard proposed for community sites across Dublin 8 that is in tune with the seasons.  Seoidin O’Sullivan, artist, began HARD/GRAFT in 2017 while she was based in studio 468, St Andrew’s Community Centre, Rialto Dublin 8 as part of the studio’s CITIZEN ARTIST awards one of Common Ground’s programmes of work.  In the studio Seoidin worked with local groups and residents including D8 Men’s Shed and Rialto Men’s Gardening and Social group, resulting in 80 grafted heritage apple trees from UCD Lamb-Clarke Collection. These trees are currently housed in local community gardens in Rialto for planting across future Dublin 8 orchard sites including Dolphin House Flats Complex. During 2018 and 2019 Seoidin and Common Ground seek to establish strong links with local groups across Dublin 8 including Kilmainham,  Inchicore and Bluebell that will progress the establishment of local community orchards.


In 2019 Common Ground & Seoidin will be partnering a new research initiative by UCD’s Department of Geography.  This research will document greenspace between the Canals and identify ‘gaps’ in green cover based on local ecosystem needs and population characteristics. This talk and presentations event are an introduction to this initiative.

HARD/GRAFT will invite local communities to participate in this research that will map and contribute to the future greening of our inner city neighbourhoods.   It will explore the potential of collaborative arts practice in partnering with academic research to make critical interventions in the local urban landscape in order to reveal alternative futures and propose new forms of collective co-operation across neighbourhoods.

In early 2019 Common Ground is pleased to announce that it will be located in the Lodge at Goldenbridge Cemetery Inchicore where it will house two new artist workspaces that will host Seoidin O’Sullivan with HARD/GRAFT, and artist Pat Curran.


Seoidin O’Sullivan

Seoidin was awarded the inaugural Hyde Park Art Center and Sweet Water Foundation residency exchange programme with Irish Museum of Modern Art and Create, connecting Chicago and Dublin through art and activism.

Seoidin and her proposal HARD/GRAFT was one of studio 468 CITIZEN ARTIST awards at studio 468 – an artists studio in St Andrew’s Community Centre Rialto. Seoidin will extend HARD/GRAFT as part of Common Ground’s inauguration of its new residency programme in when it takes up residence in the Lodge in early 2019 at it’s new base, at Goldenbridge Cemetery Inchicore Dublin 8.

Seoidín O’Sullivan (pronounced “Showdeen”) is a contemporary artist and educator. Her art projects are collaborative and focus on people joining together in action to protect and develop an aspect of their local commons. Her practice supports sustainable models within various ecological contexts and addresses issues of land use, lost knowledge, social justice and biodiversity. Creative output includes critical and creative pedagogic exchange, “communing” infrastructures, drawings, video, publications and walks. Her current projects include HARD/GRAFT with studio 468, Common Ground which looks at reproductive labour and collectively grafts trees towards community orchards for Dublin and The Tree Line Project exploring the politics of trees in Ireland www.treeline.org.

Seoidín grew up in Kitwe, Zambia and later lived in Durban, South Africa where she completed a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art (2000). She has a Masters in Fine Art Media from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (2005- 2007) and Post Graduate Diplomas in Third Level Teaching and Learning (2010) and in International Development Studies (2004). She currently lives in Dublin, Ireland and is an Art Lecturer at St Patricks College, DCU.  www.seoidinosullivan.com

Professor Gerald Mills

Professor Gerald Mills holds a BA in Geography and History at University College Dublin and completed a research Master’s degree at UCD between 1981 and 1983. This research examined the synoptic origins of precipitation in Ireland during the period 1970 to 1980 and was supervised by Stuart Daultrey. He moved to the USA in 1984 to pursue a PhD and attended The Ohio State University as a PhD student concentrating on the areas of climatology and cartography where he completed a PhD dissertation on the energy budget of urban streets (or canyons) using modelling and field observations. From 1989 to 1997 Gerald taught in the USA, first in Bowling Green State University, Ohio (1989-1990) and then at University of California at Los Angeles (1991-1997). Since 1997 Gerald has lectured in the Dept. of Geography at UCD.

Dr. Mary Forrest

Dr. Mary Forrest was educated at the National Botanic Gardens, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. Following graduation from UCD she was appointed Heritage Gardens Fellow by An Taisce, to prepare an inventory of trees and shrubs in exotic plant collections in Ireland. This work was subsequently published as Trees and Shrubs cultivated in Ireland. She then became Head gardener at Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal. She was appointed lecturer in UCD in 1986 where she has since taught courses in Landscape Management, landscape trees and shrubs, garden history and Fundamentals of Horticulture to students taking degrees in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Her research interests include history of designed landscapes in Ireland, cut foliage production, urban forestry and e-learning in horticultural education. She has been involved in European funded projects namely, Concerted Action (examining minor specialist crops)Cost Action (Urban forests and trees) and Erasmus Mundus (Fourth level agricultural education in Europe) She was a member of an EU project Innovation of the Teaching of Sustainable Development in Life Science in Europe (2010-2013). Mary has researched the development of allotments in 20th century Dublin, several of which were located in the Dublin 8 area.


Common Ground is an arts organisation based in Inchicore, in Dublin’s southwest inner city. Since 1999, we work to progress a diverse cultural model that embraces the challenging social and economic realities of our neighbourhood locations in Dublin 8 & 12.  We maximise our local networks and partnerships and seek to embed the role of the arts as a cultural right. We continue to challenge and change how access to the arts should not depend on where you’re born, your wealth or identity. In 2016 we created a new awards programme in studio 468, CITIZEN ARTIST 2016 -2018 that sought to interrogate our current state of being as a nation and inform new thinking and artistic practices.

Common Ground and Seoidin O’Sullivan’s project HARD/GRAFT is  resourced and funded by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council Arts Office and Creative Ireland Dublin City Programme 2018