Light projections This project presents scenery-related light art projections realised in 2010 and 2011 on the lookout posts of the Irish Defence Forces Coast Watching Service. Eighty-three buildings, short cut LOPs, where used for the observation of the shore of the Republic Ireland during the Second World War. Except some revitalized coast watch stations, the Irish Defence Forces built between 1939 and 1942 a group of identical edifices along the coast. These similar small concrete buildings stand in focus of light artworks and the photographed documentation. Equipped with mobile projection and photographic devices, all of the the eighty-three sites along the 3170 km coastline were explored. On fifty-three of the preserved identical buildings, projections were illuminated at dusk. In addition, historical photographs and web links to the Coast Watcher logbook archives complement the documentation.
From above In 2022, ten years after the light project, some of the locations of the lookout posts were visited again to take aerial film shots. The focus of this Aerial photographs is on how the buildings or former sites were seen from the seaside, and allow a view of the surroundings of the lookout posts. Furthermore the remaining EIRE signs, which helped the Allied aircraft navigate during the Second World War, will be documented from the air. The implementation of further locations will take place in 2023.
LOP HISTORY The lookout posts of the Irish Defence Forces Coast Watching Service were built between 1939 and 1942. The Coast Watching Service assisted the preservation of Ireland's neutrality during the Second World War. The soldiers serving at these posts were responsible for the coastal observation of Ireland shores. The Huts were built on site to an identical design from 137 pre-cast blocks. Their construction was one of the most widely spread engineering exercises undertaken by the Irish Defence Forces during the Second World War. It involved planning and constructing positions at strategic locations five to fifteen miles apart along a 1.970 mile coastline.
Recommended Literature: Guarding Neutral Ireland by Michael Kennedy.
EIRE SIGNS Following the construction of the network of lookout posts along the coast of Ireland, it was decided to add large signs marking the coast as EIRE mostly with the Number of the LOPs. In 1943 the Coast Watching Service began to construct these giant stone EIRE markers close by to the LOPs. These signs with 8m to 12m high letters were built with up to 150 tons of white washed stones embed in concrete. These acted as a declaration of Irelands neutrality so pilots knew they were flying over neutral territory. Shortly after they added the number of the huts to aid navigation, a list of the locations and corresponding numbers were given to Allied pilots.
Recommended link: www.eiremarkings.org
RTE Ireland's National Television and Radio Broadcaster made a filmed interview about Tim Schmelzers lightworks and his close bound to Ireland since his childhood. There for Tim Schmelzer made an exclusive light projection on the lookout post no. 40 close to Brandon in Kerry and explained his enthusiasm for this kind of work. The interview was broadcasted in 2013 by RTE Nationwide with Anne Cassin.