Skip to content


A strange and unusual ‘census’ that brought together thousands of individual possessions, thoughts, words, sounds and voices for the making of a single landscape, a single sound, a single NEST. NEST was Northern Ireland’s ‘Artists Taking the Lead’ commission and part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The project involved collecting thousands of objects from people around Northern Ireland and asking them to write a story, history or comment on a luggage tag which was then attached to the object. The objects were then formed into a gigantic installation in T13, Belfast and the texts became the inspiration for a song cycle performed by the Ulster Youth Orchestra and a 300 strong community choir.

Over 2500 people visited NEST on the 21st July 2012 when performers and objects were brought together in a unique blend of concert/installation where audience members could wander through and discover the collection of donated objects while experiencing the hour – long performance of orchestra and choir.


NEST opened at 4pm Saturday 21st July 2012 in T13 in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast and ran until 8pm Sunday 29th July 2012.


Artistic Directors: Brian Irvine & John McIlduff

Producer: Cathie McKimm

Artistic Designer: Ian Conroy

Composer: Brian Irvine

Commissioned by the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.