The community exhibition If You Were In My Shoes is on display at Naas General Hospital until Thursday 4 April 2013. This exhibition is the culmination of a year long inter-generational community participatory arts project that celebrates the creativity of fifty participants.
On exhibition at Naas Hospital are fifty pairs of bespoke customised felt slippers. These highly individualised slippers embody the character of each of the fifty participants. In tandem with the slippers is a collection of stories, observations and opinions by the participants that have emerged from their creative writings and conversations. A photographic portrait of each participant completes the creative work.
If You Were In My Shoes is a Nás na Ríogh Housing Association Initiative in partnership with Creative Producer Tony Fegan.
Participants in the project included Kildare Carers Association, Naas Child and Family, Kildare Youth Service, Naas Active Retirement, McAuley Place Residents, Holy Child National School, Ballycane, National Learning Network – Advanced Programme & Pipers Hill Community College. Pipers Hill Community College Transition Year students worked with exhibition designer Jim Jobson to explore the design concept of exhibition pods. Student ideas contributed significantly to the final exhibition design.
This project was designed to work as an exemplar of how participatory arts can bring the generations together and create a ‘community of interest’ using Nás na Ríogh Housing Association as a cultural hub.
If You Were In My Shoes is financially supported by Kildare County Council Arts Service and the Ireland Wales Programme INTERREG 4A. The project also received grant aid from Cill Dara Ar Aghaidh which is financed by the Irish Government under the Rural Development Programme Ireland 2007-2013 and by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas.
An international seminar on 30 May 2013 organised by Kildare County Council Arts Office will share with European partners the learning from this inter-generational arts project. To find out more information about this seminar please visit http://www.artsandhealth.ie/2013/02/28/if-you-were-in-my-shoes-seminar-and-exhibition/