‘Art feeds the soul’ they say. But this year in Carlow town ‘Art’ aims to connect and inspire its community through the collaboration of a group of artists who came together under the banner of ‘Pure Thinking’ community for a project with a very special theme.
In time for the opening ceremonies of 2015 Carlow Arts Festival on May 29th, Carlow Post Office building will feature portraits of inspirational Carlow people.
Connie Byrne, founder and creative director of Pure Thinking is the initiator of this latest community project which brought together an eclectic mix of Carlow based artists.
A total of four workshops were facilitated by the talented artist Iwona Nartowska O’Reilly and took place in Deighton Hall. Twenty-eight artists took part in the project each creating a portrait in up-scaled version (80x80cm) of their chosen inspirational person.
The portraits of the group reflect a vibrant Carlow community with a special olympian, actor, artist, historical figures, loved one’s who passed away perhaps through illness or kindred spirit’s showing others how to enjoy life to the full.
I chose a local artist and neighbour who according to himself is now an ‘octo-geranium’ (pun intended). Ed O’Connell retired from a teaching career in Carlow Regional College (now Carlow IT) having taught and introduced the course on ‘Industrial Instrumentation’. He is a light-hearted individual who enjoys singing, playing music, fishing, gardening and painting despite the difficulties of arthritis of the hands and feet upon other ailments. He continues to enjoy life and has many friends in his community.
Personally, this project has opened doors for me. It gave me the opportunity to go beyond limits to create my best portrait to date thanks to Iwona’s encouragement and demonstration.
The atmosphere in Deighton Hall during the project was industrious and refreshing. I made wonderful new friends and have found new opportunities to display my talents alongside these fantastic Carlow artists.
Local photographer Michael Spudie Murphy was on hand to document our work and capture us in both in deep concentration and having fun. The finished portraits have been prepared for the panels of the Post Office building.
‘Pure Thinking’ was founded in 2007 by local hairdresser Connie Byrne. “I have always been fascinated by people, teams and artistic projects”, says Connie, “a successful common goal is only achieved through team work and allowing all talents to shine through. ‘Pure Thinking’ works on grass roots level to celebrate and create awareness of the different groups of people that live in our community.”
All portraits with details of each artists’ chosen inspirational person will be on display in Deighton Hall throughout the Carlow Arts Festival 2015 with an opening ceremony there on Friday 29th May at 8.30pm. All are welcome.
©Caroline Cunningham http://www.carolinecunningham.com