Weekend of Celebrations Planned as St Mary’s Crumlin Launches Exhibition
‘Celebrating our building and our stories in clay’
On Saturday 18 and Sunday19 November, St Mary’s Parish Crumlin will open its doors to celebrate its unique building and the culmination of an art project to capture the memories and stories of its older parishioners.
The public are invited to visit the historic church from 12 noon to 4pm each day over the weekend and to view an exhibition of the clay artwork made by parishioners, working under the expert guidance of ceramicist and Ulster University Reader, Michael Moore.
The art project brought together a small group of parishioners from 50 to 100 years old for regular sessions with Michael from February to October. None of them had worked with clay before and many doubted their artistic abilities. Over the period, the group grew in confidence as they shared memories, mementoes, including some cine film from the 1960s, and stories, as the source of their inspiration for the clay tiles they would go on to create. These finished pieces will be exhibited over the weekend, along with information showing the process of creation. The clay tiles mirror the small, square wooden carvings on St Mary’s pulpit which reflect life in the parish at the time of its building.
As well as opening the church for the exhibition, the weekend celebrations will also include two special events. On Saturday 18 November at 4pm, there will be a formal launch of the exhibition with two short talks. Susan Roundtree, conservation architect with a particular interest in architectural history and the history of brickmaking in Ireland, will give a talk on ‘The architecture of St Mary’s’ and artist Michael Moore, who led the art project, will share ‘The story of soap and other ceramic stories’.
On Sunday 19 November at 4pm the parish will hold a Songs of Praise service celebrating the parish and are delighted to be joined by the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin for this special occasion.
Ruth Noble, Rector of St Mary’s Crumlin said: “We are delighted with the success of the art project. Our older parishioners were very happy to remember St Mary’s from many years ago but were a little intimidated at that thought of translating those memories into clay. It was wonderful to see them blossom as they gained in confidence, skill and pride in what they created”.
Michael Moore, ceramic artist and project led, said: “The idea of making art and working with clay was something very new and strange to everyone at the start. But what we have achieved together is very special. It has been a privilege to get to know the people and stories of St Mary’s and to capture its essence in clay”.
St Mary’s art project was generously supported by a grant from Dublin City Council’s Neighbourhood / Voluntary Arts Scheme and by Ulster University.