Building: Coney Island Houses, Coney Island. Following European settlement, New York State and New York City were originally a Dutch colony and settlement, named Nieuw Nederland and Nieuw Amsterdam. The Dutch name for the island — originally Conyne Eylandt, or Konijneneiland in modern Dutch spelling — precedes the similar English name, Coney Island, and translates as "Rabbit Island". As on other Long Island barrier islands, Coney Island had many and diverse rabbits, and rabbit hunting prospered until resort development eliminated their habitat. The Dutch name is found on the New Netherland map of 1639 by Johannes Vingboon, which is before any known English records.
Coney Island therefore appears to be the English adaptation of the Dutch name. The word "coney" was popular in English at the time as an alternative for rabbit; while coney survives in archaic and dialectal contexts, a later adaptation, "bunny", is now in common use. Coney came into the English language through the Old French word conil, which itself derived from the Latin word for rabbit, cuniculus. The English name "Conney Isle" appeared on maps as early as 1690, and by 1733 the modern name, Coney Island, was used. Joseph DesBarre's chart of New York harbor in the 1779 work Atlantic Neptune, and John Eddy's map of 1811, both use the modern spelling.
Although the history of Coney Island's name and its anglicization can be traced through historical maps spanning the 17th century to the present, and all the names translate to Rabbit Island in modern English, there are still those who contend that the name derives from other sources. Possible alternatives include the Irish Gaelic name for Rabbit which is Coinín, which is also anglicized to Coney. Ireland has many islands named Coney Island, all of which predate this one. Some claim that an Irish captain named Peter O'Connor named Coney Island in the 18th century, after an island in Sligo Bay known as both Coney Island and Inishmulclohy. Another purported origin is from the name of the Indian tribe, the Konoh, who supposedly once inhabited it. A further claim is that the island is named after Henry Hudson's right-hand-man, John Coleman, supposed to have been slain by Indians.
About Sarah Hardacre
Biographical and with feminist undertones, Sarah Hardacre’s collages insert glamorous individuals into otherwise authoritarian settings. Sourcing images from local archives and secondhand “gentlemen’s magazines,” Hardacre explores the politics of utopian housing. Her work reflects notions of public and private space, as she juxtaposes the masculine, concrete housing developments of her hometown, Salford, England, with feminine beauty. Her collages highlight the contradictions of government housing complexes—their simultaneous power to dictate the structure of the home and deny communities a role in shaping their collective future yet inability to control residents’ private affairs.
British, b. 1986, Salford, United Kingdom, based in Salford, United Kingdom