The opening last Tuesday evening (May 17) in Damer House Gallery of ‘Shooting from the Hip’, a Postcard Project was part of the Co. Tipperary Arts Office Bealtaine Festival.
It was facilitated by artists, Patricia Hurl and Therry Rudin, in collaboration with members of the Active Retirement Group, Roscrea, who were given a disposable camera to record and document their lives in their home-town of Roscrea.
During discussions they were given the opportunity to ‘Shoot from the Hip” and to highlight some of the difficulties associated with the process of ageing , ie, lack of resources such as walk ways, parks and problems around accessibility and loneliness, often encountered in later life.
“I answer to our provocative questions. They said that they were sick and tired about hearing only negative stuff about Roscrea. The papers wrote only about gang warfare, violence, unemployment, and drug use — what the group wanted to do was change other people’s perception of Roscrea. They wanted to portray positive images to challenge the prevailing notion that everybody who lives there is poor or disadvantaged.”
“They wanted to reflect on their own lives and the lives reflected in the faces of all of the bright, clever, happy residents who have battled uphill to restore a sense of equilibrium in the face of the massive economic downturn which hit most, if not all of the community.
“What they achieved is a tribute to their lives, a set of postcards which pays tribute to the lives of the silent majority, often overlooked and rarely celebrated. These rich images are an inspiration to all who take time to study them closely.
“The compositional qualities are matched by the personal subject matter. As postcards, they have a purer and more authentic quality than the usual ‘Beautiful Ballybunion, Dublin, Paris or Rome… We hope that by sending these postcards they with continue to inspire people from different backgrounds build relationships within neighborhoods, parishes and even the broader community.
‘Shooting from the Hip’ postcard project was supported by County Tipperary, Arts Office and the OPW Roscrea. Active Retirement Group: Nancy Carey, Terry Cosgrove, Margaret Doyle, Mary Hennessy, Gillian Mitchell, Kathleen Pratt, Joan Ryan, Kay Ryan, Bridie Shanahan, Joan Sheedy, Ann Spain, Joyce Thatcher, Beatrice Wallace.
Neighbours and friends: Last of the Summer Wine Morning Club, Fayre Days, now Pauline’s Café, Castle St. Roscrea. Eileen Oakley, Patricia Hurl and Therry Rudin. Special thanks to: Brian Redmond, Photographer; Andrea Patterson, and Des Walshe, of Walsh Printers, Roscrea; Nikita Oakley, Artist/Intern Damer House Gallery,and her mother Eileen Oakley.