10 Aug 2022

Art installation for old Offaly building before demolition

Art installation for Offaly building before demolition

Art installation for Offaly building before demolition

Creative Edenderry, a grassroots community project that aims to grow and promote creative activity in Edenderry, has announced its next initiative with the 'Shoes of Edenderry' project.

The group are working towards creating a large-scale installation of individual portraits using the façade of the old Tesco site, a vacant building on J.K.L Street which will be demolished later this year to make way for a new arts, residential and retail development. 

The installation will feature portraits of local individuals with a pair of shoes in hand as a visual metaphor for the saying "you can't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes."

The group is asking local people to submit a portrait of themselves and with their favourite pair of shoes, or a pair of shoes of great meaning to them. This could be a baby's first pair of shoes, shoes worn on a wedding day, or a pair from a loved one that has passed away. Any pair that has a special meaning.

These photographs will initially feature on the Creative Edenderry Facebook page. Then, in March, approximately 50 of the photographs will be displayed in a large-scale installation covering the facade of the old Tesco site on J.K.L Street.

PICTURED: Doreen Pickering holding a pair of Q shoes that were made especially for her in Edenderry Shoe Factory in the 1980s and covered in the same silk material as the dress she got made on her travels in Thailand with her husband John, who was then General Manager of the Shoe Factory

The photographs must be just of one person, head and shoulders only, holding a pair of shoes, against a plain background, and at least 1MB in size. [Don’t use the front camera of your phone as the quality isn’t good enough]. Portraits can be submitted at the following email address until January 21:

“In these challenging times, we at Creative Edenderry are delighted to be able to bring a series of exhibitions to our local community. Through this next project we want to commemorate and reflect on Edenderry’s past history, while also representing the diversity of the town's citizens over the years who came from all over the country and, in recent years, from all over the world. We may be apart but we can still come together through art!" organisers said.

“We are putting a call out to everyone in the local community to send us in a portrait of themselves with their favourite pair of shoes. Grab a camera or a phone and get the whole family involved, we want as many portraits as possible.”

Creative Edenderry’s opening project of the Shoes of Edenderry project was launched on Culture Night in September 2020. This centred on conversations and memories with former employees of Edenderry Shoe Factory which closed in 1991 after over 50 years manufacturing.

The photographic installation in J.K.L Street is only one of a series of events that will culminate in a weekend of events in Edenderry on 19th - 21st March 2020.

This project is funded by Creative Ireland, Offaly County Council Arts Office and IPB Galway 2020.

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