The Ballad of a Care Centre is a visual art and audio installation by Kildare artist John Conway which is being exhibited as part of Bealtaine Festival 2022. Adapted from John’s innovative theatre work of the same name, this reimagining presents the fragmented life stories of older men and women who attended Naas Care of The Aged Centre, and weaves them together to form a new narrative which is presented under both a nostalgic and critical lens.
Exhibited in a unique listening and viewing experience in the McKenna Gallery, and featuring new sculpture and video work, The Ballad of Care Centre explores the psyche of an older Irish generation through a constant live remix of verbatim oral histories.
The work steps in and out of love, loss, joy, and regret, whilst exploring memories of school, labour, dances, sexuality, the loss of life-long partners, childbirth, the loss of family to suicide, the impact of the Church, age related illness and isolation.
The Ballad of a Care Centre is supported by Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival, Riverbank Arts Centre and Kildare County Council Arts Service.
Bealtaine, Ireland’s annual festival celebrating creativity as we age, takes place throughout the month of May. The festival is led by Age & Opportunity, the leading national development organisation improving the quality of life of older people.