Nicky Dowd

Artist in Residence

An Post - A Story of Life in Stamps

Stop Press -

Research completed -Currently seeking funding


After the communities reaction to my Pilot Film and Art Installation “An Post” I have been busy researching in Ireland , USA and Uk to gather more emotive stories about peoples relationships with letters in preparation to produce a series of documentaries called "A letter for me".

The An Post Project Facebook Page
“A letter for me” reflects the lives of the Irish global Community.  It highlights the diversity of the Irish culture kept alive in foreign lands.  We discover this through the content of old letters which reveal colloquial phrases, as Gaeilge references and an insight into the social history of family life from the late 19th century to present day.  Letter writing is a dying art but was very much part of the Irish culture and a lifeline for those living abroad.  Woven deep into the Irish Culture is the natural ability to tell stories either through song, the spoken word or writing, often by the exchanging of letters which became the only form of communication for many emigrants. Musicians from the West of Ireland will be commissioned to create an original musical score to weave a thread between these heartfelt stories and my unique visual installation.

Latest news.....

" A Letter for me" will be a series of 6 x 24 minute documentaries that will include 21 informative and entertaining interviews with members of the Irish Community from around the world. I am currently applying for a grant from the BAI and hoping to go into production asap.
If you have any old letters with interesting stories about your family and the lives they led please feel free to contact me .Failing that do share them with your family you will be amazed what memories it will rekindle . I have been fascinated with this for over 10 years and  am constantly moved by the stories of courage from those that had to leave their homeland and those that stayed .Their correspondence presents a window of opportunity for us to gain an insight into the social history of their time .

 contact me.

Radio Interviews

Westport Radio Ireland
My radio interview was on Westport Radio Ireland on the Arts Show - listen to it here
A fantastic insight into the An Post Project and some great music chosen by me!


The REVIEW LOUNGE with Gary Browne Interview -

to listen to this please click here - It's the whole show so if you wish to listen to just my interview, slide the slider along to just after the 14th minute!









Gary Browne

TV Shows and Film Festival

 The Westport Arts Festival

I am taking my story home to Ireland - to Westport in fact.  I showed my film and the installation at the Festival in September. 
 
- click here for short version
 -click here for the full film

Big Thank you to journalist Elise Chamberlain for the generous and beautifully portrayed editorial of "An Post "in the August JOURNAL. 
If anyone would like to see the finished installation and film please get in touch.

 
 

For all the latest news and information on AN POST please follow my AN POST FACEBOOK PAGE

Installation at Birmingham Library

Installation presented at Birmingham Library
'An Post: Honouring Letters from Home'  Saturday March 15th 2014 between 11am - 1pm

The Story So Far...

The Irish community has spanned the world, forming great networks of places, people and circumstances, bringing many letters of struggle, happiness and success.  To celebrate this diversity, I wanted to create something that would harness the cultural heritage of the Irish whilst producing a stimulating and colourful spectacle.

7 years ago, I appealed on radio and in the national press in the UK and in Ireland for  stamps and letters and I discovered many treasured memories full of happiness and sadness and here is my story.....

Inspired by two women's contrasting stories:

One, like so many, had to leave her homeland in Ireland in 1946 to find work and make a new life in a foreign country at the tender age of 17.
The other, a mother who waved 9 of her 11 children to the four corners of the world not knowing whether she would ever see them again.

They both told me that they yearned for the letters to arrive and when they did they sat with a pot of tea and read them over and over again.  One even said the rosary before she opened it.

Hearing their stories made me realise how the art of sending and receiving letters has all but died - along with our spelling abilities, creative language as we abbreviate and rely on the digital age.

My pilot film An Post premiered at The Custard Factory in Birmingham as part of The Irish in Birmingham  St Patricks Day Programme on March 13th 2013.

In the last 2 years I have continued to research and record peoples sensitive narratives about their relationship with letters and am now planning to produce a series of documetaries to tell their stories.