This coming July, Artist Andrew Mottershead will ask owners, staff and customers of selected local Cashel shops to become involved in making the Shops Project art work and a public exhibition. Previously, this work has taken place in towns and cities across Europe, Brasil and China, and has been the subject of a publication and a major exhibition in Sheffield, UK.
Here is a quick overview of how the project works.
Staff provide customers with an invite to return and participate in a group photograph, with one of these events taking place outside each participating shop. At the appointed time the streets are cleared and passers-by held back, as returning customers are placed and posed, with the action recorded by a local photographer. The resulting photographs are then printed and framed, and then donated to the shop for permanent exhibition.
The Art lies in looking at society through the lens of local shops, and how the communities they form reflect the place and its people at that moment in time.
Andrew told Sean Laffey that it is often surprising the extent and complexity of the community that is associated with one shop.
For example when visiting a butcher’s shop he discovered that one lady bought the same thing on the same day each week. Who did she buy it for? Her dog. So the dog came along to the final photo shoot. The act of bringing the customers together on the day of the shoot visually shows the complex communities that radiate out from a shop.
As such, French and Mottershead are looking to work with 5 Cashel shops that speak more of a changing local culture, rather than the homogenised identity of High Street or chain stores.
Andre visited Noel Fahey. Daverns and AM Office Supplies. See pic below left.