The Lives of Spaces Venice Biennale 2008
Patrick Lynch worked in collaboration with Dublin architect Simon Walker, investigating the life of a holiday house in West Cork designed by Simon's father, Robin Walker, in the 1960s. Bothar Bui played a key role in the artistic and cultural life of Ireland throughout the 1970s and '80s, and many painters and poets stayed and made work in and for the house. Dorothy Walker's role at the Irish Arts Council placed her at the centre of modern Irish cultural life, and her and Robin's friends and collaborators were entertained at Bothar Bui regularly, making the house a modern version of a traditional villa: a place for serious cultural exchange and play, a salon as much as a retreat.
This aspect of villa culture is not unique to Ancient Rome or to Renaissance villas, but something that continues to fascinate patrons and architects, resulting in some of the most unique and satisfying examples of contemporary architecture. The legacy of this tradition is particularly clear at Bothar Bui, and Patrick and Simon traced also its influence upon their own projects, including Marsh View in Norfolk. The exhibition was accompanied by a film narrated by Seamus Heaney, whose collection Seeing Things was partly written at Bothar Bui, and whose poem, An Architect, commemorates Robin Walker.