23 July 2019
By Bryan Smyth
As part of its national tour, the acclaimed architectural exhibition, Free Market, arrived in Macroom last weekend, to a very positive response. The County Council supported event explores the vital role that market places play in the life of rural communities. Free Market, was Ireland’s national representation at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, last year. The exhibition won widespread acclaim for its exploration of the unique identity of Irish rural towns.
The Free Market exhibition and research project is now on a national tour visiting Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Mountmellick Co. Laois, and Killmallock, Co. Limerick. Curated by a team of architects and designers the Free Market adapts to each town it visits. In Macroom it became part of the weekly market. The Free Market Pavilion joined local producers and traders for a 3-day summer market on the Square in Macroom disrupting the usual market layout, to explore and experience a new layout, one without cars, allowing people more freedom to sit and chat and visit the stalls.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Christopher O Sullivan commenting on the event, said “Cork County Council supported this ambitious project to explore and celebrate the central role of the market place in the life of rural communities in towns across the county. The Free Market project gives an opportunity to reflect on the importance of public space, like markets, as centres for social and political dialogue and exchange, and the vital role that plays in creating resilient communities. This event will hopefully inspire some new innovative thinking about the use of public space in Macroom and other Cork towns.”
The Free Market event also featured walking tours, vox-pop recordings, discussions and exhibitions of architectural models, drawings, maps, photographs and sound recordings. For more information on the exhibition visit freemarket.ie