Artist captures echoes of past 
in city flats before demolition

Jeanette Lowe's up and coming exhibition 'Waiting' showing the flats on Tom Kelly Road, Charlemont Street prior and during demolition

By Fiona Gribben

THESE eerie photographs show the last images inside homes in Charlemont Street flats as residents left before they were demolished.

Waiting, by Dublin photographer Jeanette Lowe, showcases the flats on Tom Kelly Road on Charlemont Street in the D2 area of the city prior to and during their demolition.

The project arose after Ms Lowe received an invitation to photograph the now flattened Ffrench-Mullen House and Charlemont Gardens earlier this year. The buildings dated back to the 40s and 60s respectively.

Within the empty buildings the artist discovered flats that were still almost fully furnished, many with abandoned personal items, creating a feeling of waiting for a return of past inhabitants.

"It was amazing, it was almost as if the residents had only just popped out for an hour, everything was in its place," Ms Lowe said. "The complex was like a little village within the city and the flats themselves are duplex so they feel much more like houses."

The two blocks of flats were part of the Tom Kelly/Charlemont Street flat complex or "Charlo" as they are affectionately called by locals.

The entire complex - which was once home to nearly 200 families - is due to be demolished over the coming years as part of a regeneration programme for the area. Currently less than 50 families live in the remaining Tom Kelly Road flats.

"A lot of the inhabitants of the flats who moved in from the 60s onwards had family who had lived in the small cottages on the site where the new flats had been built, so there was a sense of the community having strong roots in the area," Ms Lowe artist.

The Exhibition will take place in No. 53 Tom Kelly Road and will run from July 12 to 25.