People’s art is to go on show

A new thought provoking art exhibition showcasing the work of older people is set to open in The Old Town Hall, Banbridge on Saturday 6 June 2015.

The exhibition entitled ‘Lives and Legacy’ is the culmination of work produced by rural communities from Kinallen, Annaclone, Gilford, Lawrencetown and Rathfriland.

This was all under the guidance of professional artists at a series of workshops developed by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Arts and Older People Programme.

The council were awarded funding through the programme in 2014 which allowed them to develop the intergenerational project involving young and older people from rural communities with the aim of addressing older people’s priority needs,

The project also involved work with a dementia group in Banbridge.

Working with facilitator Bairbre-Ann Harkin the workshops gave those who normally would not attend a community group the opportunity to participate.

Speaking of the project Lynn McGrane, Arts and Older People Project Co-ordinator, said; “Over the past two months, we have worked with four artists, Tonya McMullan, Helena Hamilton, Colin McGookin and Alisling Smyth, in the five rural areas on this intergenerational project with the aim of bringing people together through the arts.

“The communities were supportive and welcoming and even when faced with unfamiliar artforms, plunged straight in, undaunted, with amazing results.

“Our project for people living with dementia and their families at the FE McWilliam Gallery was also a great success, with all of the participants wishing to repeat the engagement sessions at a later stage.”

Launched in June 2102, the Arts and Older People programme was established to increase opportunities for older people to engage with the arts.

Lives and Legacy will be on show to the public in the Old Town Hall, Banbridge until Saturday 13 June 2015.