Post Colony (2014) explores the microcosm of natural, industrial and colonial histories through a specific project in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry, focusing on the invasive species Rhododendron x superponticum.
First introduced to Ireland in the 1700’s as an ornamental landscape feature, this plant has become deeply problematic within the national park and across many celebrated landscapes of Ireland and the British Isles, threatening native species. Ironically the invasive plant, a hybrid creation of the eighteenth century botanical nursery, has also become an iconic touristic image in the park, with its prolific purple blooms. Kennedy presents a speculative history of the park landscape from the Plantation of Munster in the late 16th Century to the park’s current status as a tourist destination and special area of conservation.
This book is an accompaniment to the main body of work, a short film entitled Post Colony. The book features texts from Ciaran Nugent, a forester, Fanny Michel, an anthropologist, and Gareth Kennedy, with production photos by Brian Cregan.