Bealtaine celebration at Museum of Ireland – Country Life

The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, in Turlough Park, in partnership with Age & Opportunity, will host a public event on May 30 to preview the Electric Irish Homes Textile Project.

The project which was led by visual artist Anna Spearman, forms part of the 2019 Bealtaine Festival. The showcase will take place from 2pm to 4pm and will provide an opportunity for people to hear about this project in which a group of older women responded to the impact of rural electrification in 1950s and ‘60s rural Ireland.

The Electric Irish Homes Textile Project brings together women from the local area, to share and explore their experiences and memories of rural electrification using a variety of creative approaches.

The collaborative art project was commissioned by the National Museum of Ireland and Age and Opportunity and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC ), to provide an artistic response to the upcoming exhibition - Kitchen Power: Women's Experiences of Rural Electrification at The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. The resulting work will be displayed as part of the exhibition, which launches in July 2019.

Visitors to the preview will have an opportunity to hear from participants and artist and to see some of the work in progress. In addition, there will be a talk from Dr. Sorcha O’Brien on her research about the impact of the rollout of electricity to homes in rural communities which led to her co-curating the Kitchen Power exhibition with the National Museum of Ireland.

The Artistic Director of Bealtaine, Dr. Tara Byrne of Age and Opportunity will also speak on the importance of creativity in older age and the artistic projects featured in the Bealtaine Festival programme for 2019. As part of the event, guests will be shown a short documentary by Brian Cregan on the creative process behind the Electric Irish Homes Textile Project.

Noel Campbell, co-curator of the exhibition, said; “We are constantly developing new ways to engage people and communities in documenting their own history. This preview is an exciting opportunity to share this community project ahead of the full exhibition, which will be the flagship temporary exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life for the next year.


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