In June 2015, acclaimed photographer Veronica Nicholson travelled the length and breadth of Offaly taking photographs of people and places for a commission from Offaly County Council. The commission, called ‘Observing Offaly,’ was part of the 2016 commemorative programme for Offaly, and the launch of the book and exhibition took place on the 22nd November 2016 in Aras an Chontae, Tullamore.
“This is a uniquely exciting project, for the county, and for me as a photographer,” said Veronica.” It’s an opportunity to present the county to the people of Offaly, but also to represent the county of Offaly to the country at large; to invigorate our own perception of County and by doing so to refocus the national perception of Offaly.”
Though she grew up in Dublin, Nicholson spent all her childhood summers on her grandparent’s farm near Rhode, and this connection with place inspired her to relocate to Offaly in 2010. Since then she has been involved in many projects locally, including the documentary film, A Grand Experience, in which travelled the length of Offaly on the Grand Canal from Shannon Harbour to Edenderry, creating photographs and a stop-motion animation.
She has continued her travels through Offaly, this time mostly by car.
“I’ve met some amazing people who have very kindly let me into their homes and their lives to record life in Offaly today,” added Veronica. “Behind the most ordinary looking houses are extraordinary people, each with their story to tell. I try to encapsulate that story in a photograph.”
The book consists of 150 unique photographs taken over 2016. It is on sale from Offaly County Council, various book retailers in Offaly and from www.offalyhistory.com. Please contact the Arts Office on 05793 57400 for more information or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.