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Citizens? - Nested and Pigeon-Holed

These works were assembled to form the opening section of Belinda Loftus's display in her joint exhibition with Manar Al Shouha at Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin, home to Belinda's planter ancestors from the 16th to 18th centuries. They were inspired by the resemblance of wine bottle niches in the kitchen area of the Castle to the nesting openings in its former dovecote, and to pigeon-holes in old desks.

Blackboard and robin nests, and a pair of fantail pigeons, are reminders of birds' nesting and homing instincts, shared with humans, and the fact that some, like blackbirds, are secret migrants. A copy of an Irish passport page shows similar migration into it of a blackbird poem by the Ulster-Scots poet, James Orr.

A tin goldfinch peers into a keep cage used by Belinda's Northern Ireland bird-fancier father-in-law. He placed nestling goldfinches in the cage, where the parents fed them through the bars. When the nestlings were grown he removed them to aviaries.

Official statements of human and non-human rights were lodged in the wine-bottle niches, to show how they get filed away and largely ignored.

These statements are:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
UN Global Compact on Refugees,
UN Declaration on Rights of Migrants,
Rome Statute of International Criminal Court,
European Convention on Human Rights,
Constitution of the Irish Republic/Bunreacht na hÉireann,
Northern Ireland Good Friday Agreement,
UK Human Rights Act,
Wales Wellbeing of Future Generations Act,
World Passport, and
Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth,
UN Convention on Biological Diversity,

Eleanor Roosevelt can be heard reading the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which she helped to draft, at