Test Site

‘Thinking, making, doing’ – 

Reflecting on Commonage, Callan Co. Kilkenny 

Patrick Lydon described the initial ‘Commonage’ project as an exploration in ‘how to engage and develop what is here already’, a question which TEST SITE explores almost 11 years later. Commonage was an art and architectural project initiated in 2010 which existed over three years in Callan, Co. Kilkenny. 

Reflecting on Commonage we recognise the questions and themes explored.  On Kyrls Quay we have similar questions – how can architecture, art and community allow us to see the local, social and place value of what already exists? 

Commonage didn’t attempt a grand master plan, rather projects emerged from place and people – ‘thinking, making, doing’. 

Community was at the heart of all which Commonage produced.

Community stretches forward and backward in time, it weaves through species and place. In this time of ecological flux community in the face of a fragmented locale is something substantial and worth nurturing where we can. 

Rosie Lynch was a Curator for Commonage along with Jo Anne Butler and Tara Kennedy of Culturstruction. TEST SITE is pleased to have Rosie on the team as Project Mentor. We have had the support of Rosie’s experience in bringing the project this far. As creative Director of Workhouse Union she has understanding around the development of place-led socially engaged projects. Her embedded knowledge will continue to be invaluable to the team as TEST SITE develops further. 


Commonage 2011 Program. Design by Mark Wickham. Front image source ‘Callan’s Pictorial Past’. 

Seasonal Bridge design and build project led by LiD Architects. Commonage Summer School, 2012. Image by Brian Cregan

‘Breach’ by Culturstruction. A temporary Indoor/Outdoor performance and gathering space. Old Co-Op. Image by Henrietta Williams