Still Life, Still Alive Collective
with Veronica Nicholson
Heirlooms’ is a thought provoking project where the reveals are part of an explorative and exciting process with themes of birth and death, memory and forgetting, family and exile, through objects like letters, clothes, memorabilia, notebooks, mementoes. Cyanotype photography is a camera-less technique that involves laying an object on paper coated with a solution of iron salts before exposing it to UV light and washing with water to create stunning white and Prussian blue images.
Since 2021, this Artists in the Community Project has been supported by Offaly County Council and Anam Beo. Still Life, Still Alive is a creative collective that has now grown into an ambitious multi-faceted exploration of the genre of still life photography with Mary O’Grady, Bridie Roe, Marie Kearns, Phil Brady, Margaret Cocoman and Pauline Stronge, under the direction of photographic artist Veronica Nicholson.
Creative outcomes of large cyanotype photograms of christening robes, one of which ‘Memory’ will be exhibited at the Birr Annual Open Exhibition 2023.
The process led engagements and resulting still life photographs of family treasures to be exhibited are emotionally very fulfilling for the group as family heirlooms were discovered and brought to light. Sharing in the group was very rich, bringing stories to light. Capturing memories to be handed down to the next generation
Photographic Artist Veronica Nicholson joined up with some members from Tullamore Camera Club & Anam Beo in May 2021 and 2022! Reconnecting and re-establishing engagements with a creative focus for project participants leading to conversations, creative engagements and artistic outcomes.
‘Still Life, Still Alive’ is an Anam Beo Artist in the Community Project with Photographic Artist Veronica Nicholson & some members of Tullamore Camera Club. Marie, Mary, Philomena, Pauline and Bridie produced a body of work & explored their surroundings in the everyday. Using fresh elements within their own photography practice, these striking images are the creative outcomes from a socially engaged collaboration that involved technical and conceptual conversations during an artistic process around the familiar. The project booklet supports the project and be used as part of a project exhibition and dissemination. That they have continued to come together and create is indicative of their enjoyment of the process and successes. This Artist in the Community Project was supported by Offaly County Council. This first iteration of the project was exhibited in Edenderry Library in 2022. Accompanied by a booklet designed by Julie Spollen from Anam Beo Art Organisation.
‘Really enjoyed taking part in the project. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to think creatively whilst gaining new skills. All under the experts eye and guidance of our Veronica.’
In 2022 the group visited the National Gallery of Ireland to look the still life paintings collection, which ranged from the 17th to the 20th century. Inspired by the visit, we collaborated on a still life of flowers and food, resulting in the photograph Cornucopia. Cornucopia means ‘horn of plenty’ and has long served as a traditional symbol in art and decoration to suggest abundance. Veronica Nicholson.
About Veronica Nicholson
Veronica Nicholson is a photographic artist and educator, whose work has been exhibited internationally and nationally. Veronica Nicholson bought a camera in 1984 and has been making photographs ever since. She has a diploma in Professional Photography and an Masters degree in Digital Arts. Since moving to Offaly in 2010 she was one of the participating artists in ‘A Grand Experience’ documentary in 2012, and her book ‘Observing Offaly’ was published in 2016. Her project ’36 Views of Croghan Hill’ was exhibited in 2018. As a member of Creative Edenderry she curated an outdoor installation of photographs ‘In Their Shoes’ installed on JKL Street, Edenderry in March 2021, to celebrate diversity and to commemorate the old Edenderry Shoe Factory.
Since 2020 she has been exploring alternative photography processes to capture the natural world under our feet, specifically so-called ‘weeds.’ A series of these scannergram photographs have been shortlisted in the Royal Photographic Society 165th International Photography Exhibition. The shortlist was narrowed down from 5205 photographers to 416 photographers from 41 countries.
Her photographs are in the collections of the National Gallery of Ireland, Office of Public Works, Northern Ireland Civil Service at Stormont, Limerick County Council and Offaly County Council as well as many private collections.
Follow Veronica and members of Tullamore Camera Club on Instagram, Facebook, Creative Edenderrys Facebook.