Tuam Assembly was a project led by UK-based artist Isabel Lima, who Creative Places Tuam invited to take part in an artist residency in the town.
Isabel Lima is a UK-based Portuguese artist, whose work focuses on the themes of Identity, Culture and Place. In her practice, she develops socially engaged artworks with groups of people. Isabel visited Tuam in late March and early April 2022, to get to know the town and its people. However, her work began before she even arrived!
Isabel’s primary focus was to create a space for listening for Tuam’s residents, the Creative Places community and collaborators and invite those new to the programme in. In Tuam, Isabel set off on walks around the town guided by both Creative Places and local residents in order to experience daily life in place.
Isabel led a series of workshops, to discuss people’s lived experience, expertise and embodied knowledge of the town and hinterlands. Isabel says that “every person is a different living archive”, and everyone’s personal perspective on the place of Tuam is valued and important. During these workshops, participants discussed how Tuam used to be, how it is now, what has changed, as well as imagining future development and what they want to see.
Where will the Tuam Assembly go next? What action points will be assigned, and when will we see change? How will these collective decisions be enacted? The discussion is ongoing…
Experience the project
Isabel Lima is an artist / researcher based in the UK whose practice addresses the overarching themes of Identity, Culture and Place. Her own family history of displacement is the catalyst for her research interests. Lima develops artist-led projects in collaboration with groups of people who have systematically suffered injustice and/or oppression caused by capitalism and colonialism.
In her practice Lima articulates Socially Engaged Art with the Epistemologies of the South through the making of longitudinal art projects in collaboration with neighbourhoods. From the standpoint of a migrant, woman, artist based in the UK, Lima’s work posits forms of enacting citizenship and claiming rights alongside others. The artworks are modes of convening collaborative forms of assembly, working, and living in solidarity. Using a decolonial lens to conduct, examine and reflect upon projects, allows Lima to unpack how to delink her artistic practice from paternalist and extractivist endeavours. Her work is (un)disciplinary aiming to dissolve fragmentation in order to pursue intersectional community-led wishes and objectives.