Tuesday 21 November 2017

Kitchen dressers are focus of project

By Esther Hayden

Jane Fortune in front of her kitchen dresser.
Jane Fortune in front of her kitchen dresser.

A nostalgic project focusing on kitchen dressers is being overseen by Michael Fortune.

The Dresser Project is a body of work being conducted by Michael throughout Ireland and this year the focus is on kitchen dressers in his home county of Wexford. The Wexford strand of the project has been commissioned by The Arts Department of Wexford County Council and will be presented as part of their 2017 Bealtaine Programme in May.

Over the coming months Michael will travel the county documenting dressers through a combination of photography, film and story. The foundation for the artist's particular interest in the subject stems from his own grandmother's dresser in Ballygarrett and how these evolving and ever changing displays reflect the experiences, lives and values of their keepers, serving as shrines as well as a practical pieces of furniture.

The overall project began in 2015 and he has conducted four strands in Counties Mayo, Carlow, Tipperary and Waterford, visiting over 60 homes. The Wexford strand of this project is being conducted with the assistance of TY students from Coláiste Abbáin in Adamstown, and with the support of the Folklore Department of UCC and the National Museum of Ireland.

If you have a dresser or know of one, Michael would love to talk to you. However big or small, plain or ornate the dresser is, please contact him by phone on 087 6470247/053 92 56885 or by email at

Wexford People

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