Monday, October 25, 2021

A visitor to Visual enjoying one of the videoportraits in the Carlow Portraits exhibition

Visual’s arts curator Emma-Lucy O’Brien speaking to some of the participants in the ***Carlow Portraits*** exhibition

Mairead Maddock, Claire Breen and Lorraine Boran

Noreen Whelan and Walter Lacey


Lorraine Hynes and Rose McEvoy

By Suzanne Pender

TWO thought-provoking and deeply moving exhibitions were recently launched in Visual featuring wonderful contributions from Carlow people.

Carlow Portraits is a unique new work by artist Tadhg O’Sullivan, based on encounters with 43 older members of the Carlow community, while The Corona is an animated documentary film sharing the experiences of young people in their own voices during lockdown.

Carlow Portraits is comprised of slow-motion video portraits and wide-ranging audio interviews. An intimate and sensitive work, it invites the viewer to spend time with these remarkable people from around the county. The participants speak about life, the passing of time, cultural change and their extraordinary experience of Covid-19.

These interviews were conducted during the individual portrait sittings. A website and archive of this project has been made to host the images and stories at

The exhibition was created by Carlow-born Tadhg O’Sullivan, an internationally renowned filmmaker, sound designer, radiomaker and artist. He draws on his own connections with the local community to make this project deeply collaborative.

The participants are Paddy Behan, Pat Bramley, Eileen Brophy, Marian Brophy, Bev Carbery, Anne Dunne, Colette Fennelly, Tom Geoghegan, John Hickey, Des Hurley, Jimmy Hutton, Lorraine Hynes, Charlie Keegan, Rody Kelly, Sr Kathleen Kennedy, Siobhan Kinsella, Pat Kinsella, Walter Lacey, Karl McDonagh, Rose McEvoy, Margaret McKenna, Leo Maher, Rory Moran, Betty Murphy, John Murphy, Joe O’Brien, Betty O’Gorman, Tom O’Malley, Maurice O’Reilly, Pat O’Reilly, Margaret O’Rourke, Jimmy O’Toole, Fintan Phelan Sr, Annette Reddy, John Rice, Therese Sheehy, George Sothern, Sean Swan, Michael Timmons, Brid Whelan, Colin Whelan, Noreen Whelan and Margaret Woods.

The Corona turns the spotlight on the experiences of young people aged from three to 24 in their own voices during the rolling lockdowns of the pandemic in early 2021. It is composed of drawings posted to Visual by Carlow’s young people and audio interviews conducted over phone and video calls. In the interviews, young people reflect on how the pandemic changed their lives.

The work was commissioned as a way to listen to young people’s experiences of the pandemic and use their reflections to inform policy for the future. Visual’s learning curator Clare Breen gathered audio interviews from 42 children across the region and over 250 drawings from young people.

These drawings were edited together into an animated film by the award-winning Irish artist Daniel Tuomey and the film was scored with original music by the Carlow-based composer Aoife Kavanagh.

The exhibitions will run until the end of October. Admission is free. For more information, see

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