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An Post - A Story of Life in Stamps

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. I am currently applying for funding to curate a touring exhibition to share these interviews and letters with you. 

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 contain informative and entertaining interviews with members of the Irish Community from around the world. Time is of the essence as many of these engaging stories are told by our beloved elderly population who we are losing .

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 20 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 .

Radio Interviews

Westport Community Radio 98.2fm

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! 

Castlebar Community Radio 102.9fm

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!

Chair from The Crown pub Digbeth Birmingham and Jimmy Walsh demonstrating how his mother wrote to his brother every day with her crippled hands.

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. 

A 2 minute taster of AN POST documentary

The full AN POST documentary -copyright Nicky Dowd

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.

I appealed on radio and in the national press in the UK and in Ireland for people to send me their stamps and letters and 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 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 and creative language as we abbreviate and rely on the digital age.

AN POST premiered at The Custard Factory in Birmingham as part of The Irish in Birmingham St Patrick's Day Programme on March 13th 2013 and was broadcast in collaboration with Irish in 2014

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