Launching tonight ... Earliest Memories Through a Pinhole Camera - 7 April 2011

April 7, 2011

Launching tonight ... Earliest Memories Through a Pinhole Camera - 7 April 2011

Come along for tea and buns tonight at 7pm as we launch our gorgeous exhibition 'Earliest Memories Through a Pinhole Camera', 7pm, First Floor Gallery ... Read more on Garvan's Blog Here ...

Draíocht’s programming strives to provide opportunities of engagement with a wide variety of high quality, enjoyable, challenging and meaningful arts experiences for the community. Our Visual Arts and Youth Arts Programmes endeavour to support and encourage visual artists through our residency scheme, gallery exhibitions, facilitated projects and lectures. Earliest memories through a Pinhole camera is not only a beautiful exhibition of work, it also represents an effort to fulfil these commitments and demonstrates our dedication to developing innovative and socially relevant projects by building collaborative relationships with excellent visual artists and members of our immediate community.

This exhibition has its roots in the development of a 15 month residency scheme for Draíocht’s artist studio. As part of this residency, the artist would facilitate a community project to culminate in an exhibition shown during Spréacha – Fingal’s International Arts Festival for Children. By ensuring a quality of experience, twinned with a policy of access at its heart, Spréacha has, in its short life become a bench mark for Irish children’s festivals. By combining theatre performances with family days, workshops and specifically programmed exhibitions, the festival is about a whole arts experience. This year’s exhibition takes access quite literally by programming work not only for people in the community, but also by people in the community.

For the success of this project, it was important that the facilitating artist had a willingness to share their expertise and knowledge and an inherent interest and commitment to community involvement that mirrored our own. Garvan Gallagher was such an artist. His engaging photographic work looking at the invisibility of older people mixed with our history and experience of working with younger people made his suggestion of an Intergenerational project an exciting concept. As intergenerational suggests the project was made up of young and not so young participants. They gathered in Draíocht for weekly workshops, dark room sessions, discussions and tea breaks, along with walks and museum visits. The culminating exhibition Earliest memories through a Pinhole camera clearly reflects the great creativity, effort and energy on behalf of Garvan and the thirteen participants. Behind this exhibition lie two of Draíocht’s core values; the on-going support of professional artists and the continued nurturing of our relationships in the community, which allowed schools and parents to entrust their students to us and gave older people the confidence to take part in this project.

In a contemporary world, outside the family, there are not many opportunities for younger and older people to work together. This project created a space for these different groups to come together in a way that may not have been otherwise possible. By promoting such interaction between mixed audiences, we encourage new and shared experiences. These experiences work to promote the acceptance of differences, to overcome prejudice and stereotypes. This element is powerfully seen in the decided subject matter of the participants. Rather then focusing and identifying their differences the project explores a shared experience. One that we all share regardless of age, gender or background - that of an early memory. This project has also allowed members of the community to become cultural producers themselves; part of an artistic process that puts them at the very centre of Draíocht’s programming and projects.

Draíocht would like to thank and congratulate Garvan and all the artists involved. While the outcome is manifested in a wonderful exhibition of art work, we also hope that the process and experience of the project is something that lasts as a positive, new memory that will stay with each participant well into the future.

Sarah Beirne
Children and Youth Arts Co-ordinator

Niamh Ryan
Visual Arts Administrator


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