As part of the Artist in Residence 2018 programme at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History Róisín de Buitléar collaborated with Pavee Point. Róisín worked collaboratively with local Traveller women from the community during November 2018. The aim of the project is to extend and build on the Museum’s links with the Traveller Community through this collaboration with Pavee Point. The collaboration is a participative project where learning is two-way, shared experience by expanding on the representation of Traveller Culture. The project also involved an intergenerational element to reignite lost Traveller culture from older to younger generations. Róisín de Buitléar provided opportunities for an exchange and sharing of both Traveller and settled people cultures that might lead to better understandings, new thinking, and new perspectives. This project focuses on promoting Traveller culture and identity by promoting understanding and respect.
Following extract taken from the Róisín de Buitléar website and is courtesy of the artist:
Using the Museum's historical textile collections and material from the Museum’s handling collection as resources, aided by Museum curators and educators, the group worked with Róisín de Buitléar to challenge ideas based on portable safekeeping of objects, cultural clothing, remembrance textiles, pockets, and objects associated with memory.
The Traveller’s ‘Beady Pocket’ served as a generous bag and useful holder for essential objects needed for a life on the road, and are an important cultural item of clothing for Travelling people. Items such as a knife, money, jewellery and a needle and thread, hidden in the seam, were common objects that were kept in the deep pockets. The decorative pocket also served as a memory bag. The pockets were decorated with small buttons medals and beads which were exchanged between women, on leaving a site or moving on to a new location.
The National Museum of Ireland and the artist welcomed Travellers to the Museum to share their culture with women from the settled community and wider public. By exploring shared ideologies on culture, domestic craft, and the language of the hand through this hands on workshop, it new relationships developed between the museum and all the participants.
Project Participants and Contributors
Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre:
Winnie Mc Donagh
Kathleen Mc Donnell
Lisa Mc Donnell
Margaret Mc Donagh
Anne O Leary
One day visitors
Maria Simmonds Gooding
Róisín de Buitléar – Artist in Residence
National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History
Aisling Dunne – Education & Outreach
Helen Beaumont – Education & Outreach
Lorraine Comer – Head of Education
Image Credit - Aisling Dunne