Artists Interviews

November 2012: Ann Donnelly

City of Hope: A case study


For this ongoing project, Artscare artist Eddie Rafferty is working across a range of groups throughout the trust to design and build a town. He showed me some of the work in progress and explained that he had come across a batch of old newspapers from the 1950’s and wanted to use them within his work as the text and imagery could stimulate conversations. It allowed adults to reminisce and children could have fun cutting out advertisements and talking about the contrast with their modern day experiences. Another useful aspect of the newspapers is that people with autism can find a blank white page very off-putting and the rhythm of the newsprint is a more stimulating starting point. The newspaper idea also ties in with his African residencies: while he was in South Africa Eddie realised that a lot of people were papering the walls of their houses with newspapers, and that, coincidentally, many of these were Irish newspapers.

Each individual is contributing something that they think the town needs. Some of the groups include architects who are making the plans. There are ladies from Cape Verde who have drawn palm trees. Someone else drew a bus – a bull represents agriculture. There are a range of houses and buildings. The artist decided that everything should be drawn on old newspapers in black paint or ink, allowing the individual’s vision to be incorporated into the whole. The town will be congruent. In the same way as Eddie is the connection between the disparate groups, his stylistic decision pulls the creative expressions together.

“We have architects making some plans for me and aintings or drawings are just basic drawings. For a lot of the drawings at the minute we’re just working with sticks –sticks and Indian ink –very basic, you know? No big high skill to them. But as you can see some of the drawings are fantastic I think –they’ve got a nice rawness. So they are all going to be cut out and we’re going to have a town. I’m not sure how we’re going to put it together but that’s one of the things about having an art room I can figure out how it should sit. Is it going to be sitting on the ground on a tilt? I’m not sure at the minute...I’ve got time.”


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