Friday 18 October 2019

Celebrating the unique character of rural Wexford

Michelle Browne
Michelle Browne

Esther Hayden

Over 1,000 people across Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford are expected to take part in a major collaboration which celebrates the unique character of rural towns and examines how the layout and design of their public spaces impacts on how people engage, gather and move.

The landmark Bring Your Own Chair project is funded by the Arts Council and will foster greater civic engagement and participation in public spaces across the three counties. The community project runs from now until the end of September and focuses on the decline of small towns and revival of traditional meeting places.

It will see a performance in 12 parts taking place at three locations this summer following a series of coordinated design, craft and performance scoping workshops and residencies.

In Wexford, participating areas hand-selected to take part are Ballyhack, Taghmon, Bunclody and Courtown.

Visual artist Michelle Browne said organisers want the business, farming and wider community to engage with those traditionally involved in the arts in what is expected to be a major community initiative across the south east region and beyond.

When cinema started out in Ireland, it was also a time when few households had a television set. Cinema-goers or potential television viewers would therefore bring their own chair to a hall or a neighbour's front room to view a film or watch a programme. People attending the pop-up performances will also be required to bring along their own chair and appreciate how while we've come a long way since then, little has actually changed.

The project will highlight the realities of rural liv­ing when rural amenities such as post offices, shops, bus routes and schools are closing and people have fewer meeting places.

Wexford People

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