In the past 2 years, Laois artist, Annie Holland has begun conversations with older people from rural Laois born before or just after 1922, taking photograpic portraits and engaging in conversations about the past and the present. These conversations create the framework for the exhibition ‘Children of the Free State’ which takes place at Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise as part of Heritage Week (14- 23 August).
The project offers an enquiry and perspective into ‘A Sense of Place’ the overarching theme of the Laois Culture and Creativity Strategy 2018 – 2022. It encompasses and articulates our socio-cultural heritage through a range of art media. The photographic and video materials will form part of the Laois County Library Digital Repository and Archive.
Using photography and video, Annie focuses on how the process of documentation and storytelling can itself create space, physically and emotionally, for real dialogue and the narration of personal stories - past and present. She also explores old family photos, dating back generations, as the only tangible bridge that connects the past with the present and her photographs that will connect current and future generations.
Speaking about her work, Annie says:
'I believe that the past of any human being is never permanent, but constantly being reconstructed in the present'.
Please note that the details of events listed above are provided by the relevant Local Authorities.