Portraits for the Post Office May 15
Portraits for the Post Office Project
In February 2015 I was invited along with 28 other artists to take part in a project to revamp the main Post Office in Carlow town.
The theme was ‘Carlow Characters’ and artists would choose a person that inspired them. The project was supported by the GPO in Dublin, the OPW, Carlow Arts Festival and Carlow County Council with the idea originating from the Pure Thinking Community Group.
I chose to do Amy Lawler. I had heard her story 4 years ago and I had wanted to do a younger person. Despite her very young age, Amy was a very inspiring young person in Carlow. She battled all her life with Cystic Fibrosis and died in 2011 at the tender age of 17 following an unsuccessful attempt at a lung transfer.
Amy’s family have been wonderful and fully supportive supplying me with information and photographs to build up a mental picture as well as having Amy’s beautiful pictures to work from. Amy’s sisters and especially Carrie, have been so helpful sourcing suitable images to work with. I am privileged to have been able to work on Amy’s portrait. A brave and beautiful young woman inside and out.
From the 29 Artists who put hours of work into this process, only 14 were selected as it turned out not all the panels were available to us. It is fair to be said that all of these portraits were exceptional pieces and so I am so humbled that my portrait of Amy was one of the ones chosen to be printed and posted onto the Post Office panels.
I am also thrilled for Amy’s family. Hopefully this will help to keep Amy’s memory alive and to help raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis so that while we hope for a cure, other children and families suffering from the effects of this terrible illness can have their lives improved.
Michelle - The Healing Hare
In aid of "Hares on the March" for the Jack & Jill foundation. The title. 'Michelle,' is in honour of my baby sister - aged 2 days who sleeps with the angels. The 'Healing Hare' part is influenced from an idea I had for "Hopeseats" . Michelle wears a cloak of passionflowers. The tincture from the passionflower makes 'Passiflora' which is a herbal remedy to aid sadness, anxiety and sleep disorders. The cloak is trimmed with a frieze of 'QR codes' which I have made to match the colours of each relevant helpline website. You can download a QR code 'reader' app (Neo Reader) on your phone/PC to hold against them which will lead you to the website. I would like to thank all the charities who understood what I was trying to do and allowed me to make and use their codes. I am hoping this is another way to help people suffering or to raise awareness. Pride of place is a painted broach to clasp the front of the cloak holding the code for the Jack & Jill website. Michelle's name in inscribed on the back of her neck. The rest is a combination of vine entwined with gold. Her gold and proud pose is in defiance of sorrows that threaten us all. She is here to raise awareness and maybe to help. Michelle - The Healing Hare.
Current and recent public work and projects
Interactive Community Helpline Sculptures
Arthur Guinness Arts Projects 2013
'Hopeseats' will be a set of circular seating under an umbrella like canopy from a sculpted fibreglass mould. The main principle is to use them to provide helpline information which will be shown round the base and under the canopy. There would be 'QR codes' on the ground in front of the sitter, to enable a person to photo discreetly as reference to a chosen helpline. Wi-Fi, seating, shelter and lighting would ensure there would be no stigma associated with sitting there as there would be many reasons to sit there. They would be beautifully decorated and design/helpline info adapted as appropriate to each community. Local artists would get work & marketing, for painting or designing its communities piece involving community groups in the decisions/work. They would be self financing as 'appropriate' advertising under the canopy, will pay for any maintenance and also cash to charities.
This is still a 'Work in Progress' for me. What got in the way was not having the funds to complet the first mould / prototype. I am determined that someday, I wil be able to complete this dream.