I remember a conversation with my father where I had asked him about his upbringing in Ireland. About how it feels living in the U.K for over half of his life, and of how he defines the word “home.” He told me about a song called “From Clare to here” by Ralph McTell, which speaks of an encounter McTell had with an Irish man living in London, whereby he asked a similar question as I to my father. “It’s a long way from Clare to here” the man said, holding a measuring-tape distanced from his home to where he now stands. I think this feeling of longing and disconnection can be universally felt, not just by those who exist among the diaspora, but also by those who are isolated/removed from spaces due to economic, physical, political, and social borders.
Since mid-2021 I have been sending stop watches to those that I love, to those that I wish to connect with, or to those that I simply want to meet. Before sealing the package I ensure each stopwatch is counting, which begins to time the distance between I to them - recording journeys of thousands of miles. Once delivered, the receiver is instructed to “pause this until we meet again”.
It is likely that this performance will take me a few years to complete. There are many borders in between myself and those who I have performed this project with - but through my path I hope to one day reconnect with them all.