Day­care cen­tre in the frame

Irish Examiner - County - - Front Page - Áilín Quin­lan

An ex­hi­bi­tion of stun­ning images of peo­ple aged from their 70s to their 90s, and con­nected with a lo­cal day­care cen­tre, is now on display in Ban­don.

The project took a full year to com­plete.

It was or­gan­ised by Ban­don Day Care Cen­tre as part of the many events and ac­tiv­i­ties un­der­taken as part of the re­cent Cul­ture Night.

The ini­tia

by Noreen Walsh, a nurse co­or­di­na­tor at the care cen­tre, and sup­ported by the Sorop­ti­mist Friends of Ban­don Day Care Cen­tre.

Pho­tog­ra­pher Ag­nieszka O’Sul­li­van was com­mis­sioned to take por­traits of a large group of ser­vice-users who at­tend the cen­tre one day a week.

Over the course of a year, Ag­nieszka took pho­to­graphs of a to­tal of about 60 will­ing clients at Ban­don Day Care Cen­tre.

Aged be­tween 75 and 95, the sub­jects come from the town it­self and from miles around in­clud­ing vil­lages such as In­nis­han­non, En­niskeane, Bal­li­nadee, Clough­duv, Aherla and Newces­town.

The pho­to­graphs were not posed and Ag­nieszka snapped res­i­dents en­gaged in ac­tiv­i­ties such as knit­ting, lace-mak­ing, paint­ing and even play­ing bingo!

She also took close-ups of peo­ples’ hands en­gaged in var­i­ous arts and crafts pur­suits.

Noreen said she got the idea af­ter sub­mit­ting an ex­hi­bi­tion of the clients’ arts and crafts work for Cul­ture Night two years ago.

For Cul­ture Night 2018, how­ever, she be­gan her prepa­ra­tions well in ad­vance de­cid­ing that this time around, the day­care users them­selves would be the fo­cus of the ex­hi­bi­tion and com­mis­sioned a se­ries of can­did pho­to­graphs.

“They were not posed and they show our clients en­gaged in dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties,” she said, not­ing Ag­nieszka got to know the clients very well dur­ing the months she spent pho­tograph­ing a group who were in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat- ing in the project.

The re­sults, said Noreen, were “fabulous”.

“The ex­hi­bi­tion cel­e­brates their in­di­vid­u­al­ity and di­ver­sity. Some pho­to­graphs are in colour, and some are black and white. You see the in­di­vid­ual and their abil­i­ties and they re­ally come alive in these pho­to­graphs.

“The feed­back from peo­ple who have viewed it is very pos­i­tive,” she said, con­ced­ing she is per­son­ally de­lighted with the re­sults. “There are also some pho­to­graphs of sim­ply hands en­gaged in ac­tiv­i­ties,” she said.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, cur­rently on display in the AIB bank in Ban­don, will run un­til Fri­day next, Novem­ber 30.

Pic­ture: De­nis Boyle

Pho­tog­ra­pher Ag­nieszka O’Sul­li­van, Sheila Mc­Carthy of AIB, and and nurs­ing cood­i­na­tor Noreen Walsh. who ini­ti­ated the project, at AIB Bank in Ban­don for an ex­i­bi­tion of pho­to­graphs de­pict­ing the daily lives of res­i­dents at Ban­don Day Care Cen­tre.

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