Newfoundland Orange

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


My research explores the tensions between cultures we inherit, adopt and adapt to by looking at architecture as a representation of those who built it and how we can read the changing society in which it sits. A fraternal, religious organisation formed in Ireland in 1795, whatever image the Orange Order conjures up in the popular imagination, it’s unlikely that the fir tree-covered landscape of Canada’s Newfoundland springs to mind. And yet, this unique island province once had more Orange Order meeting halls per capita than anywhere else in the world, including Northern Ireland. Brought across the Atlantic through westward Irish emigration, the Orange Order had an arguably disproportionate influence on Canadian political culture and even today ‘Orangemen’s Day’ is still a holiday in Newfoundland on 12th July. The number of Orange Halls across the province of Newfoundland is fascinating and unexpected: they are vernacular, outward-facing markers of a diminishing culture. The importation and subsequent evolution of the Orange Order in a province whose identity now places so much importance on Ireland and a Catholic ‘Irishness’, raises interesting questions about the relationship between place and identity, as does Orangeism’s almost complete decline on the island in a relatively short period of time. My photographic fieldwork in 2022 captured many of these halls in order to create an archive before these buildings disappear forever from the landscape: once ubiquitous, they are variously falling into disrepair, being sold, demolished or repurposed, or have been reclaimed entirely by nature. As such, Orange Halls are material culture that express not only the past and present lives of a community, but also its future.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 11 May 2023


  • research
  • Orange Halls


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