An exhibition of 24 photographs – taken by Kenmare people during the Covid restrictions of 2020 – has opened in the Carnegie Arts Centre and will run throughout September and October.
Pictures of You captures the Covid moments of a community from the comfort of pets to to the swimming and gardening activities that helped people to cope. Although each photo is unique and tells its own story, all feature similar themes and contribute to the shared narrative of life in lockdown.
The project was initiated by Kenmare Family Resource Centre.
“We wanted to facilitate a sense of community during the Covid-19 pandemic to help the inhabitants of the town to feel more connected,” explains Paula MacElligott of the Family Resource Centre.
“With this goal in mind the project Pictures of You was born. It’s a community portrait photography exhibition that asked people to take photographs at home during the first lockdown that signified the feelings and emotions of that time within the community.
“We explained that by creating these images they were capturing a significant and historical moment in time, one that was both an individual and collective experience as everyone battled through the pandemic at the same time.”
As well as the exhibition, the photographs are printed in a book to remain a part of Kenmare’s history.
The aim of the project was to demonstrate how community engagement like this increases wellbeing by improving social cohesion and developing a shared narrative with one other.
Participants submitted their entries alongside their relevant caption depicting the scene in the photograph. Entries came from all ages and walks of life in Kenmare, bringing a flair of diversity within each photo.
To spread word about the project, posters were erected locally in Kenmare and information about it was posted on the KRFC social media channels and on the social media outlets of local Kenmare politicians which ensured the invitation for entries was spread far and near.
The call for entries was met enthusiastically and Kenmare Family Resource Centre was delighted with the high level of engagement, with one submission noting that it was a great way to feel involved in the community, at a time when they had felt the most disconnected.
The Carnegie Gallery is open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Saturday. The exhibition will run until the end of October.