Barbara
O’Meara

 

CFCP
NEW VOICES
OF IRELAND
SERIES 8

 

Against The Odds 2:
Open Studios

Barbara O’Meara

BARBARA O’MEARA is a professional visual artist with a B.A.(Hons)Degree in Fine Art Painting and a Post Graduate Higher Diploma in Community Arts Education both from the National College of Art & Design. Her community work includes various collaborative/socially engaged projects such as ‘Portraits of Pain’, N.C.A.D.’s Public Art Programme with Coolmine Rehabilitation Group at I.M.M.A, Northern Ireland’s Re-Generate Project and ADVIC Advocates for Victims of Homicide, a bereavement support charity. 

Barbara headshot e1612003862574 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Career

Her socially engaged practice includes ‘Na Leanai’ Children of 1916-Dublin Remembers 2016 with Five Lamps Arts Festival, ‘B.O.R.N. Babies of Ravaged Nations’ 2017 at The Point Depot, a social commentary concerning the plight of women and children worldwide informed by media coverage of specific events. B.O.R.N. exhibition included audience participation with a Celtic healing ceremony where women and children from many nations were represented.

From 2017 – 2019 she designed, facilitated and curated the Tuam Baby Blanket ‘Stitched With Love’ a two year voluntary creative project where hundreds of women from Ireland and abroad hand crafted white squares to commemorate the Tuam Babies creating a baby blanket of 796 squares ‘The Covering’.

In 2018 in a memorial event it was laid out over burial site at Tuam Mother & Child Institution by survivors and families during an ancient Celtic midwives ceremony. ‘The Covering’ is now exhibiting with ‘Stay With Me’ touring exhibition and in 2019 the blanket was shown at KOLO International Women’s Non Killing Cross Borders Summit in Sarajevo where women survivors of the Bosnian War held it in a healing circle.

In 2019 it was also part of the Christina Buckley Centre exhibition ‘Our Living Bereavement’ highlighting institutional abuse in Ireland at both Tallaght Library and Inspire Gallery Dublin.

My Work

BARBARA – ‘Sacred Rituals’ – Video & Art Installation.

For ‘New Voices of Ireland 2020’ my partner was Diviane Helena, a Brazilian Artist with whom I had a deep connection discussing and sharing ideas of culture and sacred ceremony. After research we concluded with the idea of making 3 videos pieces in synchronicity pertaining to the rituals of our Ancestors, incorporating the Divine Feminine and Nature. We agreed to film at the same time in our different places of residence to communicate a sense of interconnectedness despite Covid-19 Restrictions. It was imperative for me that my videos, all made on my mobile phone, were created at a particular time and place which left me at the mercy of the weather with an acceptance of letting go of any control over the filming. Channeling the immediacy of the elements brought rawness to the pieces and for me raised questions of how insignificant our existence is on this planet. Filming over the power of the wind felt like a metaphor for the challenges we are facing as a species living with this uncontrollable global pandemic. There was a sense of just being, of survival, perhaps a metaphysical connection to common ancestors. I used language as part of the rituals speaking in English, Irish (my Native Tongue) and Brazilian Portuguese and also incorporated pure unrefined rhythmic sounds using handmade musical instruments to release energy and create movement. Many of the simple natural artifacts were handcrafted by me or handmade ensuring authenticity. Rich symbolism was also present as with 3 spoons representing Maiden, Mother, Crone and the ceremonies performed in circles which are symbols of no beginning or ending.

‘Winter Solstice’ – Irish Celtic Ceremony – 21st December 2020 – Under a Full Moon I perform a pre dawn ceremony to mark the great cross quarter of the Celtic Calendar, the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, which marks the beginning of the Celtic New Year and the return to light. In the depths of darkness this time was honoured by our ancestors in sacred ritual over 5000 years ago at the prehistoric site Newgrange, the great womb, to welcome the return to light. This time of year is related to the Goddess and the feminine. Serendipitously, an astronomical event, the great conjunction of the Christmas Star, the closest alignment of planets Jupiter and Saturn in 400 years was also occurring. Chanting “Return to Light, Let Light Return” using a shamanic drum representing a human heartbeat, moving in sacred circle around the flames of a fire on 4 quarters of gold to represent the 4 Seasons of the Celtic Wheel. Acknowledging the great seeding of life beneath the earth growing in darkness, there is acceptance and surrender to ritual and the elements. In this piece I love the tension and contrast between the silent photo stills as opposed to the howling wind and rain. I embrace and honour both the light and darkness. All is one. Materials: kindling sticks, antique cauldron, gold leaf handmade paper, handmade organic shamanic drum, headdress, Amber jewelry, gold handmade shawl & dress.

‘Yemanja’ Afro Brazilian Sea Goddess – New Year’s Eve – 31st December 2020. An Afro Brazilian Festival brought to Brazil by African Slaves hundreds of years ago, ‘Yemanja’ Goddess of the Sea, is an African Water Protecting entity also considered in other religions as the female ‘Mother of the World’ from which everything is created. Worshippers call on her to bring prosperity and good health in this New Years Eve traditional ritual. People wear white for harmony and adorn in white flowers as they dance, sing and pray with floral offerings, gifts and letters to the Sea Goddess, hoping they will be blessed. Green foliage signifies health and a single white rose is often given as a gift. Again on the day of a full moon I use wooden Silver Birch music sticks in a sacred circle calling out in Brazilian Portuguese “Bem-Vinda Yemanja Rainha do Mar” Welcome Yemanja Queen of the Sea. I place a Raku Fired Mother Goddess figure on a woven willow boat with white flowers, foliage, cones, white shells and stones as offerings to her. The ceremony takes on a life of its own in the uncontrollable wind beside crashing waves. I have to accept the power of nature is beyond my control with an offering of oats to the Goddess. The flowers are then offered to the sea to honour of Yemanja. Materials: Hand woven harvested willow boat, seasoned wooden music sticks of Silver Birch, handmade Raku Fired Mother Goddess, Handmade Star, wild flowers/foliage, white shells/stones, sage incense, and white garments.

‘Nollaig na mBan’ – Women’s Christmas – 6th January 2020. This is a time balance, of the half moon, of equality, I bring together Irish/Brazilian traditions to honour our female ancestors with a tea/coffee ceremony. Nollaig na mBan in Ireland is a time when women traditionally had a day off from their domestic chores and the men took over the housework. In the past women gathered together to share food and drink with storytelling and song, it was bad luck to take down Christmas decorations before the 6th January. In Brazil in everyday life women served coffee, in Ireland women served tea, both beverages introduced by way of colonialism in the 18th century. Many of our female ancestors had lives of hardship and servitude with little time for festivity but they had rituals such as divination of tea leaves/coffee grains. Most were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Filming this was very poignant as I place teapots, coffeepots, cups on my Great Grandmother’s enamel kitchen table I think of her strength and dignity and of all the women who have gone before, serving them ‘Cupan Tae’ (Irish Gaelic) and ‘Café Puro’ (Portuguese). Hand stitched aprons and a knitted tea cozy are an acknowledgement of women’s craft & skills often undervalued in the past. Most of the vessels were gifted to me by women folk and I use a branch from the Christmas tree to cleanse the energy. ‘Slainte’ (Good Health/ Irish Gaelic) ‘Beber Boa Saude’ (Drink Good Health/Portuguese).

still 1 Barbara scaled Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity
still 5 Barbara scaled Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Find out more

To find out more information please click the link below.

CFCP New Voices of Ireland Series 8: The Work

CFCP
New Voices
of Ireland
Series 8

Against The Odds 2:
Open Studios

NVOI2020green Recovered 2 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Intro

The voices of migrants, the main agents of cultural diversity and collaboration, are rarely heard and in these challenging times there is a danger that they will be completely marginalised. Hence, the focus of this year’s New Voices Series – Against the Odds 2: Open Studios is on visibility and dialogue.

The aim of the New Voices of Ireland Series is to present migrant artists to the wider online community, to let them tell about their artistic practices, their new and previous works, their plans and about themselves,  their lives in Ireland and their artistic and personal roots.

Through the series we want to provide a platform for both physical and conceptual communication between migrant and local artists, their communities and their artworks.

The New Voices of Ireland Series have been developed and run by the Centre for Creative Practices since 2013. 

The New Voices of Ireland Series is curated by Monika Sapielak, an independent curator and Artistic Director of the Centre for Creative Practices.

The New Voices of Ireland Series is funded and kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

The
Programme

11th February
to 1st April 2021

In response to the COVID19 restrictions, the 8th edition of the New Voices Series – Against the Odds 2: Open Studios will be run as an online series of events.

Despite the lockdown and the adverse conditions in 2020, we wanted to continue our work on the New Voice of Ireland Series and give migrant and culturally diverse artists who all severely suffered due to the lockdowns and loss of jobs and income, an opportunity to work artistically and collaborate while isolating. Moving the programme online was the way to go. Working online also allowed us to select more artists than usual.

4th
March
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Nasrin Golden

Birds Nasrin Golden Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

A short animation inspired by Iordanis's composition “As the Leaves Fall” by which I was deeply moved. The music directed my imagination creating feelings of hope and happiness.

Iordanis Sidiropoulos

Iordanis 2. jpg Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

I composed a new piece of music based on one of Nasrin´s paintings called Shahmaran which is the name of an ancient Persian Goddess.

11th
March
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Diviane Helena

Diviane still 2 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Six videos, inspired by virtual meetings between two female artists and their exchange and studies about ancestry, femininity and traditional sacred rituals from Ireland and Brazil.

Barbara O'Meara

Barbara headshot e1612003862574 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Mobile phone videos & art installations. Filmed in synchronicity with Diviane in our different places of residence to communicate a sense of interconnectedness despite Covid-19.

18th
March
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Irina Maldea

Irina Maldea headshot 2 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

An interpretation of the iconic and hallowed Irish landscapes that includes/imposes the immigrant stories and their inner journey.

Nkosikhona Ngcobo

Ncosi stills 1 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Migration leads to the new identity, “becoming”. “I AM” is the title of my video where “I” becomes “Identity”, “A’ becomes “Art” and “M” becomes “Migration”.

25th
March
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Samantha Brown

Samantha draft 1 rotated Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Listening to Gboyega’s music inspired me to walk to the local river leading me to thoughts of the many people that had travelled by sea as migrants, travellers or explorers.

Gboyega Akerele

Gboyega images MG 3148 002 scaled Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

I titled this soundtrack ASHE (AMEN) - good wishes for our journey in life. The world needs a lot of courage in this extraordinary times and I hope my tune will inject some sunshine.

1st
April
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Tag Beckett

Tag Beckett screenshot from the video Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

"WHY I MAKE" is a celebration of the power of art.
art can guide revolutions
art can be used as medication (…)
we are from different countries with different beliefs and cultures, but we can communicate through art

Roxana Manouchehri

roxana work image2 scaled Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

The visual conversation between the two artists from different backgrounds makes this conversation unique and challenging. The viewer get involved with images, texts and music in a fun and artistic way.

Press 
& Media

Feedback
Coverage
Engagement

Irish Times

monikait Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

“The western world has to realise that there is much more to contemporary art than the Europocentric and America-centric approach, and that the rest of the world also ‘produces’ mature artistic voices and styles that are unique and actual.” Monika Sapielak, CEO of CFCP in the Irish Times on 10 February 2021

Arts Council of Ireland

Et6HkVlXMAAaiCV Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

The CFCP New Voices of Ireland Series 8 was offically opened by Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council of Ireland. Maureen said about CFCP that:

"You (CFCP) are shortening the journey for Migrant artists to gain visibility in Ireland"
Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council of Ireland

Wicklow People & Bray People

NVOI2020green Recovered 2 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

“We wanted to provide migrants and culturally diverse artists in Ireland with an opportunity to collaborate and exhibit.” Monika Sapielak, CEO of CFCP in the Wicklow People on 17 February 2021

BAM Magazine

Screenshot 2021 02 19 at 13.10.25 777x437 1 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

“In my video poems, just as in poetry, I am interested in layers of meaning. A new entity comes about from the interconnected footage, sound and rhythm.” Csillly Toldy in BAM Magazine

Westmeath Examiner

Nasrin Golden headshot scaled Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

“The event is a major celebration of the diversity within the artistic community of Ireland.” Nasrin Golden, multimedia artist in the Westmeath Examiner on 24/02/2021

CFCP
New Voices
of Ireland
Series 8

 

Archive

Catch up with the past events

NVOI2020green Recovered 2 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

11th
February
2021

6.45pm - Vernissage
7.30pm - YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm - Q&A with the artists on zoom, live on Facebook

Leia Mocan

Leia Mocan  Umbilical Cord Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Umbilical Cord, video, 14 min; An eulogy of transformation marking the continuous migration of self, interleaved with witness testimonials, historical and found imagery.

Zahra Khan

Zarah headshot Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Through prose and images, I am reflecting on my relationship with my mother and her country, my body parts, and the witch in Pakistani mythology.

Imogen-Blue Hinojosa

Imogen headshot Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

A trailer for my short film " Bed Of Leaves" in which I seek to draw attention to the ever rising death toll of trans women of colour worldwide.

18th
February
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Mirjana Rendulic

wood 3 Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

"A death of a Star" is a personal piece reflecting grief of losing a father. Written and performed by Mirjana Rendulic and filmed by Mark McNally.

Chinedum Muotto

fatherhood Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

Themes of patriarchy, religion, sacrifice, archetypes and memories are manifested in this piece weaving between childhood and adulthood to trace the effects of ‘fathering’ then and now. 

25th
February
2021

7.00pm – Introduction on Zoom
7.30pm – YouTube Premier live streaming
8.00pm – Q&A with the artists on zoom

Viviana Fiorentino

Viviana headshot scaled Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

‘Neither here, nor there’- a dialogue between two poets interspersed with reading in Italian, Hungarian and English. Reflection on home and belonging.

Csilla Toldy

Csilla Toldy photo @ Alistair Livingstone Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

In my video poems, just as in poetry, I am interested in layers of meaning. A new entity comes about from the interconnected footage, sound and rhythm.

BACKGROUND TO THE NEW VOICES OF IRELAND SERIES

The New Voices of Ireland Series is a flagship project of integrative, cultural practice between migrant and local artists as well as audiences curated and presented by the Centre for Creative Practices.

The New Voices of Ireland Series aims to:

  • Connect creative talent from new communities and various social groups from all over Ireland
  • Give migrant and culturally diverse artists an opportunity to share their work and talent with a wide local and international audience
  • Engage artists to express their views on social challenges and the role of culture in modern society through artistic practice
riding the giants Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity

The New Voices of Ireland Series is kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Queries: If you have any questions, please contact monika@cfcp.ie or call 086-6084020         

Alpha Eosin Red Ink on Vinyl Co polymer 2.2 x 2.2 cm 2015 M Geddis Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity
Alpha Graphite Ink on Vinyl Co polymer 2.2 x 2.2 cm 2015 M Geddis Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity
Bare Life 260cms x 260cms Migrant Artists & Cultural Diversity