Folk Radio

2019 Selection

Designed by Kate Brangan and Jo Little at Or Studio

Curator: Anne Mullee

Curatorial Advisor: Deirdre O'Mahony

Risograph Printing: Or Studio

Categories: Identity

Industry: Cultural

Folk Radio is a temporary radio station transmitting from the X-PO in Kilnaboy, a former post office in the heart of the Burren community, Co. Clare. X-PO was initiated as a public art project in 2007 and is a site for cultural and community exchange. Folk Radio was conceived as an artist-led public art project by Tom Flanagan. Incorporating experimental sound recordings, audio works and programmes that explore the hinterlands of North West Clare, it is a collaboration with the communities of the X-PO, its volunteers, participants and audiences.

When tasked with designing the identity and promotional print material for Folk Radio, local observations highlighted the gridded and decorative patterns of net curtains in Kilnaboy. We were also inspired by the stories of Mattie Rynne, former postmaster of Kilnaboy Post Office. An autodidact, he had a passion for technology, radio engineering, and communicating to the world beyond Kilnaboy on his short-wave radio, decades before the advent of the internet. Combining the ideas of this vernacular aesthetic and shortwave radio transmissions with contemporary sound recordings and cellular automation, we created an experimental modular system that continuously transmits new arrangements of ornate typographic glyphs to build the identity.