Birr natives combine for stunning new publication
Jackie Lynch and Eileen (Cordial) Casey has recently combined their creative skills to produce a stunning publication 'Birr Town Stills'.
Commissioned by Offaly County Council for Culture Night, 2023, this A4 Size book of poetry (Casey) and photography (Lynch) is a wonderful keepsake of a Midlands town, situated in the dead centre of Ireland.
Both artists grew up in the town but of course, both experiences are unique.
Casey was born in High Street while Lynch grew up in Connaught Street.
Some years ago, Jackie published 'My Hometown', a stunning book of photography focused on Birr. She lived for a time in Japan, practising an aesthetic called 'wabisabisuki'.
Eileen Casey's poetry and prose are widely published in major anthologies by Dedalus, Faber & Faber, New Island, Abridged, among others. She published six collections, the more recent 'Bog Treasure', a collaboration with Canadian Visual Artist Jeanne Cannizzo.
Birr Town Stills features the mosaic tiled aisle in Saint Brendan's Church, Birr, and also Birr Post Office (both credited to Casey's stonemason heritage, from her father's side). Lynch's keen eye captures the unexpected, the sudden realisation of something precious but overlooked, something worth preserving. Her work is also much esteemed. It illuminates and as well as capturing an image, she reframes it, defamiliarising the familiar, bringing a fresh perspective. Lynch is also a documentary film maker.
'Birr Town Stills' is on sale for €15, the perfect gift for Christmas, especially for those living away from the town. As both artists say in their introduction, Birr is a place they'll always want to return to.
Grandfather Robert (1865 – 1936) is included in Birr Stills