Home. Heart. Hope.

Habitat for Humanity & Sinéad Cullen (IE)
Installation, 2015

This installation addresses the transformative power of a home in a world where 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing. A home is more than a place of shelter; it can create or deny hope and opportunity.

Simple house structures are suspended together to give a sense of the fragility of community and at the same time, the strength that there is in connection. The red represents the heart and the sense of longing that exists to have a place to call home. The 150 houses in the installation are a representation of anthropologist Robin Dunbar’s number. 150 is the number that he suggests as “the limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships,” proposing it as an optimum size for human communities.

The importance of a satisfactory home cannot be underestimated. Safe and secure homes lead to education, better health and empowered communities. A home brings dignity. It allows families to stay together. Housing is one of the strongest instruments we have in breaking the poverty cycle.

Home. Heart. Hope. is a powerful representation of the difference a home can make to real lives, and the power that simple actions undertaken to help one family can have on the creation and transformation of entire communities. The installation showcases fifteen hope stories from Habitat for Humanity partner families, where they reveal how a decent home has changed their lives.

About the artist: 

Habitat for Humanity Ireland believes in a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Founded in 2002, it is a non-profit housing organisation operating in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. Habitat for Humanity transforms lives by bringing people together to create homes, communities and hope in seventy countries around the world, including Ireland. Its self-help model gives low-income families a ‘hand-up’ to lift themselves out of poverty.

Sinéad Cullen is an architect and artist based in Dublin. Her work explores themes of connection between people, community, and living systems, through visual art and movement. She has travelled extensively exploring these themes, in particular the innate interconnection between indigenous communities and their environment.