Thank you so much to everyone who came along to the DCU Intergenerational Learning programme’s “Connecting Generations’ photography exhibition launch night.
Held on Thursday 22nd of May, familiar faces and new faces gathered to celebrate the work of ILP participants and teachers from the past two semesters. As can be expected when it comes to ILP , the night was full of friendly chats and banter with a few glasses raised to all those who made the year and the project such a great success. We even had a Skype speech from one of our sponsors, Suzie from Photowings in San Francisco. As one of the participants in the programme alluded to in his speech on the night: If someone had told him years ago that one day he would be in Temple bar, exhibiting photos he took in a digital photography class he attended which was given by a DCU student, speaking to a woman live in San Francisco in a room full of new and old friends…. Well he simply would not have believed them! His point? Learning never stops folks!
The exhibition is open until June 1st in The Library Project, 4 Temple Bar
Connecting Generations: Photography Exhibition 19th May – 1st June
Venue: The Library Project , 4 Temple Bar, Dublin.
The Intergenerational Learning Programme is delighted to announce that following the success of our
PhotoWings & AshokaU sponsored Photography project an exhibition will be held in Temple Bar to
showcase both DCU students & ILP participants work as part of the Bealtaine Festival. The project
was incredibly well received at the AshokaU Exchange held in Brown University, February 2014
We would be delighted to see new and familiar faces at the exhibition, so spread the word and come along!
Rosaleen Murphy brought the first two photos to our swap session. The photo on the left is of her Mother and Father on their wedding day in 1935. The second photo is of Rosaleen with her brother David and sister Peggy, 1941.
Rosaleen’s mother had her wedding dress altered and made into two beautiful dresses for her daughters. Rosaleen and her sister are wearing the dresses in the second picture. My granddad was christened in his mothers wedding dress, the christening gown was then subsequently passed down through the generations.
We discussed how the whole process of how we buy and alter clothes has changed. When Rosaleen was my age people would add extra material to short coats to make them longer for winter. It seems people took more care of such items and the clothes were, as the saying goes, ‘made to last’
I tend to just buy something new when the old version wears and tears! I explained to Rose that I have hardly anything that I have made or altered myself, nor do my friends. I realised that I had a photo on Facebook of myself and my friends taking part in a clothes swap. We all had to bring items of clothing that we no longer wanted. These were all placed in the middle of the room allowing us to have a look through what everyone brought and take anything we like! As bad as it may sound, that is the closest we get to being thrifty!
So maybe not as many people are versed in the art of sowing and making clothes nowadays? Maybe clothing has become disposable to us? Who knows – I do however look at Rosaleen’s photos and wonder what, if any, of my clothing would I keep and cherish enough to pass on in future years.
In the 1950’s motorbikes were a fancy form of transportation. A vehicle that the family got a lot of use out of and an important asset that the family cherished. Safety however was not as strict as it is today and a family day out for a picnic on a summer weekend was an occasion where we could all enjoy the thrill of the spin on our little moped. Arrive 2012, countries and generations apart, these 60 year old vehicles still provide the rush and thrills they once did for friends and family to enjoy.
Picture on the left
North King Street, c 1950.
From left, Michael Morris on a straight-handled bike; Michael Andrew Morris (middle); Colm Clarke.
This picture was taken by a newspaper photographer early one Sunday morning. My father, Michael Morris, often took us out with our tricycles around town. Occasionally he would take me on a longer journey, sometimes as far as Inchicore. For these occasions he would always carry a stout piece of rope and when I got tired he would tie the rope to my tricycle and to his carrier and pull me along.
Roisin’s picture on the right was selected because of the matching tricycles. Her picture shows a stark contrast in clothing. Bight, neon colours were the order of the day for kids in the 90’s.
Myself and Sylvia exchanged two photo’s which we felt were very poignant due to the significance of their place and time. Both photos were taken on two different continents sixty years apart, yet they still have similar themes which are of childhood happiness and vacation. My photo was taken atop of the World Trade Centre in New York. I was spending the summer with my relatives there and had some great memories. Sylvia’s photo was taken in rural Latvia in 1937 and it is of her and four generations of family; her mother, her grandmother and her great grandmother, also spending her summer months on holidays with relatives in the countryside. Both photos are of very happy moments in our childhood, but there is a heart breaking story oncoming in the near future in both photos which is that of war and death.
Soon after Sylvia’s photo was taken, Latvia was to become a warzone in 1939 during WWII between Soviet and German troops. The World Trade Centre in 2001 was to become victim to the tragic terrorist attack 9/11. In the two photos, myself and Sylvia are totally oblivious to what is soon to come and are just enjoying those long summer months. We both found it quite moving to think that places which have given happy childhood memories to us both, were to be quickly changed into places of tragedy and war. It was quite remarkable how we initially compared the photos as happy holiday memories and then came to realise that there was actually a deeper sadness behind the photos.
We also found a notable contrast between the two photos. Sylvia explained how everyone in this rural part of Latvia were almost totally self-sufficient, with everyone provided everything for themselves including linen, flax, sheep wool for coats and local farming. In comparison I am probably guilty of consuming some of the new toys and clothes the ‘Big Apple’ had to offer which I wouldn’t dream of having back in Ireland. Therefore guilty of being a little bit spoiled on my holiday compared to Sylvia’s simple living!
Fashion 1960 and Fashion 2012
At all the times women want to look well and dress nicely. It was like that in the 20th century and the same we can observe in the 21st century.
Here you can see two pictures of different generations. On this black and white picture our heroine went to the States to visit her Aunt and shop for nice outfits. She looks stunning, photographed walking across O’Connell bridge, 1960. Her clothes would be stylish even today.
Fifty years later women still travel abroad in search of better trends. Our second heroine went to Australia in 2012 and you can even see the “evidence” of her fruitful shopping…
Both pictures tell a story of how fashion and more so style is timeless.
The photograph on the left is of ILP student John in Palmerston park, 1950. As soon as I saw it I thought of this photo I had taken of Father Collins park in Clongriffin, 2013
John brought the photograph with him to the photo swap session as it is a park he has always loved. I posted my photo on Facebook a few weeks previous after visiting the park for the first time. I was keen to share it as I thought it was so refreshing to see a new recreational space in an area where the after-effects of the boom time have left shells of half finished housing estates.
We both thought the photos depicted how our recreational spaces have evolved over time; a gardener hand mowing the lawns on the left, wind turbines on the right. We both hope to see more interesting recreational spaces popping up around us!
Some people say that love hurts but that is not true. Loneliness hurts…Finding your second half is a real blessing. Looking at these happy couples of different generations proves that being together makes people joyful and reminds us that everybody can find a soul mate to love.
I was immediately drawn to this picture of Kathleen and her daughter visiting Santa. It made me think of an old family tradition. Every year my Mam would take me and my cousin to see Santa (dressed in our parties dresses of course). It was the highlight of my social calendar as an 8-year-old! It made us think about the simple things in life, and how even just one visit, once a year, to Santa’s grotto can bring such delight to children.
Suffice to say neither myself or Kathleen have sat on Santa’s lap for a few years now! But in a way, don’t we all become our inner child again at Christmas?
We initially paired the photographs as they were so visually similar. Time has not changed how we document our graduations!
It was when we began to discuss our past classmates that differences began to transpire. While from the photograph on the left, could tell us where the classmates went and what they ended up doing, the newer photo did not yet hold such information. We learned that photographs become more important and can tell a bigger story with age.
When looking at photographs we should not only ask ‘What does this photo say?’ but ‘What will this photo say in years to come?‘