Inherit Ballyfermot Festival “Follier Uppers” 2013

3 Aug

The Inherit Ballyfermot Festival took place at Ballyfermot Library in September 2013. The Follier-Uppers were screened during the festival. These were a series of short animations, made intensively over a four day period, with young people from Ballyfermot through The Base. The completed shorts are as follows: ‘How to make a Traditional Irish Coddle’, by Katriona Robinson and Dominic O’Halloran; ‘The Mysterious Mr. Eval’, by Joseph Clarke; and ‘Catastrophe’ by Dominic O’Halloran and Katriona Robinson, and Joseph Clarke.

The screening also premiered a short collaborative animation, developed by Jessica Foley and Aine Ivers, assisted and inspired by Patricia Williams, and created with many, many people from the Ballyfermot area, during a residency at Sharing Space in Ballyfermot in May 2012. This short is called ‘Bewk’s Imaginary Library Garden’.


Equine Matters…

19 Sep

Still from Clondalkin Equine Club film, by Dean Sheldreck.

I hadn’t really been aware of urban horses – not really. On my way over to the Library in Ballyfermot, on the 79a, I noticed for the first time with any real attention an ‘urban horse’. As if she was installed there just to prove to me they exist. I saw her in the front garden of a terraced house, nibbling on some straw, a blue container of water beside her. In every other driveway there was a car parked. In this one there was horse power. The bus drove on past before I had time to take a photo. I have the image in my head.


(L-R) Lena Kearney, Niamh Crudden, Roisin Kearney.

This evenings discussion at the Ballyfermot Library really opened my mind, and imagination, to the importance of equine matters in the minds of people throughout the city of Dublin. Roisin Kearney, of Clondalkin Equine Club, spoke with energy; a rapid, rhythmic rhetoric, brimming with passion, about the absolute need for a serious equine infrastructure to be established in the Dublin City area, for urban horse owners. To Roisin, Lena and the others gathered at the Library’s screening room the argument makes common sense.

There was also a polish filmmaker present this evening, Pawel Ziemilski, who has come to Dublin to explore the culture of Urban Horses. He recognises this culture as very unique – he thinks that perhaps only Philadelphia has anything close to what Dublin has. He is looking for ‘the last urban cowboy’. He wants to meet young people who look after horses, and to talk to them about the world of urban equine matters. Pawel will be around for the next month, if anyone would like to make contact with him please contact the Clondalkin Equine Club, or leave a comment on this post.


(L-R) Dean Sheldreck, Anna, and Pawel Ziemilski discuss the culture of urban horse ownership.

Inherit Ballyfermot Festival – 17th to 21st September!

14 Sep

The Inherit Ballyfermot project is coming to fruition at the Ballyfermot Library this September. With well over 70 people from Ballyfermot and it’s hinterlands participating in the project over the past couple of years, we’re delighted to see the Library being celebrated through it’s own festival! The long wait is over – get thee down to the Library this week to join in with the celebrations and to take part in the many talks, screenings and workshops unfolding during the festival!

The Library will officially be re-opened by the Lord Mayor of Dublin on Tuesday 17th September. The Slips & Stories Archive will be installed at the Library for the duration of the festival, and will be available to the people of Ballyfermot from Tuesday onwards, as part of it’s collection. The Slips & Stories Archive includes Plants, Stories, large scale collages and drawings, and a short animation called ‘Bewk’s Imaginary Library Garden’.

Some of the plants which have grown from slips, gathered from people in Ballyfermot back in 2012.

Some of the plants which have grown from slips, gathered from people in Ballyfermot back in 2012.

Follier Uppers project kicks off at The BASE

13 Aug

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We kicked off the 4-day Follier Uppers project today at The Base. We explored initially, through discussion and writing, our understanding and relationship to the theme of Inheritance and the idea of using the Oral Histories/Memories gathered during the Slips & Stories part of this ongoing project.

The group focused really quickly and created some really powerful and humorous texts around the idea of Inheritance. We’re not too sure as yet how the story we make will shape up – will it be based upon the format of the ‘follier uppers’ or film serials of the early 1900’s, or will it draw inspiration from the experimental cinema and visual ethnographic world?

We had a fantastic guest speaker in to share her work and the theoretical world around her work, Dr. Eve Olney, a visual ethnographer and filmmaker. She told us about the genre of Visual Ethnography, sharing with us the work of Jean Rouch and Bruce Conner, among others. She also shared with us some of her own work exploring the possibilities and responsibilities of working closely with other people, and with archives. Eve is currently working to produce a documentary, based upon her PhD research in Visual Ethnography, around a old-time music archive, owned and collected over 60 years by a man called Rodney. The documentary will combine stop-motion animation, interview and travel, and will move between Co. Tyrone and the particular parts of the United States where Rodney collected his music.


Growing the Inherit Ballyfermot Festival!

7 Jun


This Autumn the Inherit Ballyfermot Festival will celebrate the re-opening of the long missed Ballyfermot Library! The Library had been operating from the Civic Centre on the Ballyfermot Road for over three years, while the ‘old’ Library building was renovated, but on April 29th 2013 the ‘21st Century Library’ opened once again to it’s community of Ballyfermot and beyond.

What is the Inherit Ballyfermot Festival?

The Inherit Ballyfermot Festival celebrates the re-opening of Ballyfermot Library, but more importantly, it aims to showcase the incredible wealth of heritage, of imagination, of character and spirit of people living in the Ballyfermot, Cherry Orchard and Chapelizod communities.

The Festival is a Celebration and Exploration of the theme of Inheritance and what that means today in peoples lives.

The Festival is a way of revealing the channels of creativity and possibility available to people through each other and through sites of knowledge and learning and making. The festival celebrates this through the figures of the Library and the Garden, and through the persistence of storytelling, whether it be oral or visual, through live speech or video imagery, through a plant or through a drawing.

The Inherit Ballyfermot Festival will take place in the Autumn 2013. (Dates to be confirmed.)

How can I get involved?

If you would like to help make the Festival a reality we would LOVE to hear from you! Please get in touch with Catherine Lane of Ballyfermot Partnership at 01 8989165, or you can email Jessica Foley at jessica dot dylan dot foley We would be delighted to have your creative support!

What kind of things will happen at the Festival?


There will be a premiere screening of the Slips & Stories Follier Uppers.

This will be a cinematic screening of shorts made by young people from Ballyfermot and the wider area, led by artist Jessica Foley and Phillip Cullen at The Base. The shorts are based upon the oral histories collected by artists Jessica Foley & Aine Ivers during their Slips & Stories residency as part of the Sharing Space exhibition in May 2012. The Screening will take place at the Ballyfermot Library and will be a highlight of the Festival.

There will also be an installation of the Slips & Stories archive in the Ballyfermot Library, which includes two large collages of drawings made with visitors to the Slips & Stories residency in May 2012.

Other possibilities over the course of the Festival inlcude:

Workshops (Knitting, Crochet, Drawing, Writing, Storytelling, Gardening, etc)

Talks and Storytelling (History, Heritage, Music, Traditions, Trends, you name it!)



We are keen to hear from you! We’ll be devising a structure for the festival over the coming weeks, once that’s in place we’ll be able to invite people to make up the festival. Watch this space and get in touch for more information!

How did the Inherit Ballyfermot Festival come about?

The Inherit Ballyfermot Festival was catalyzed by Carolann Courtney-O’Malley of Ballyfermot Partnership in 2010. She invited artists Jessica Foley and Aine Ivers to generate interest amongst the people of Ballyfermot and beyond, to celebrate their Library and it’s importance within their lives past and present, through art. The artists worked to generate interest through an Open Space Technology meeting which gave voice to some of the passions and interests of the people who participated in the ‘Our Art, Our Library’ meeting at the Family Resource Centre.

From this meeting came the idea of a ‘Library that’s a Garden‘ and the notion of recreating ‘Follier Uppers’ for Ballyfermot. The artists wanted to connect their own lives to these ideas. Aine Ivers realised the importance of gardens and growing in her own life, remembering her grandparents garden in Athlone and how they cultivated vegetables and supported their family relatively self-sufficiently. The Garden became a symbol for a generous self-sufficiency. She realized that many of the Houses in Ballyfermot were similar to that of her Grandparents, they were designed with the vegetable patch and self-sufficiency in mind. Jessica Foley connected with Ballyfermot through the stories she remembers from her Father. Her father grew up in Ballyfermot in the late 50’s, and she remembers him telling her and her siblings stories about his adventures down by ‘The Ranch’ and across ‘The California Hills’. He spoke about the Follier Upper’s that would come on before the main film at the Gala cinema on Ballyfermot Road, so that for Jessica, Ballyfermot reminded her of the wild-west, a frontier place – unsettled, wild, changing and beautiful. Both Aine and Jessica realised that they had inherited different ideas and attitudes towards place and community through their own life experience. It is in this way that the idea of Inheritance has become a touchstone, one which will form the heart of the festival at the Library this Autumn.

Inherit Ballyfermot @ Cherry Orchard Fun Day

26 Oct

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Some images from yesterdays events at the Cherry Orchard Fun Day. It was great craic to be there, and wonderful feedback came from everyone about the beautiful drawings made from the residency at the Sharing Space gallery back in May 2012.

Bewk and the Imaginary Library Garden – all drawings made by visitors to the Sharing Space gallery during the Inherit Ballyfermot residency in May 2012.

Inherit Ballyfermot @ Cherry Orchard Fun Day 25th Oct.

24 Oct

This image shows us working out the compositions… wait till you see the framed and finished compositions! BEE-EWE-TEA-FUL!

We will be showing a ‘teaser’ of the Inherit Ballyfermot video animation made during our residency at the Sharing Space exhibition in the old bank on Ballyfermot’s Main Street last May.

The short video of stop-motion animation will be projected inside a Polytunnel at the Community Garden in Cherry Orchard from 3.30pm to 5.30pm TOMORROW 25th Oct!

We are also delighted to be able to share with everyone the framed compositions of the drawings made by over 60 participants during the Inherit Ballyfermot project this year. The two framed compositions, collective drawings, will be donated to the Library when it re-opens.

More plans are a foot for next year though – we aim to get the Inherit Ballyfermot video animation ‘Bewk’ completed in the New Year, so we’re on the funding trail to seek support for this important work.