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Undertow - Kilkenny Arts Office


Undertow - Kilkenny Arts Office

Growing up in Kilkenny we were always aware of the Good Shepherd Centre. But for, those of you who don't know about the Centre and the amazing work they do, The Good Shepherd Centre works with homeless men, and those at risk of becoming homeless, in Kilkenny and its environs.They offer emergency accommodation, transitional housing and resettlement services with the aim of returning people to sustained independent living.


Anytime I was visiting Barnstorm theatre over the years , I'd always bump into someone staying there. It struck me how friendly those men were, with genuine open smiles.

Surely just like everyone else, but there was something in their eyes that I associated with, I'm not sure if it was loss or hope or something in between, but I associated with it. I thought , that could be me. I am fed up of Irish people being left fall through the cracks, because down in those cracks is where self hatred, disbelief in yourself, loneliness, self pity, sorrow and fear live. You can walk along the surface carrying some of these things with you. Buy they will attach themselves to you when you're not paying attention. Once any one of those things living in the cracks takes hold of you, they attract others and they start to breed. Before you know it they latch on to you until there are so many attached to you that you stumble, sometimes you get up, some times you fall, sometimes you fall and become wedged in the cracks and sometimes you can't get out, it's no longer in your control. One thing is certain you can't keep carrying that extra weight.


The Good Shepherd have helped a close friend of mine at a time when he fell through the cracks, through their help he managed to get his life back on track and get back into accommodation and we even exhibited together. It's been 8 years since I made art, it's 4 years since my fiend passed away. I wanted to mark this exhibition with some connection to him, so I'm raffling one of my paintings from the exhibition in Dean street. I reckon the Good Shepherd could do with all of our help at this time of the year because anyone of us could fall through the cracks. As Leonard Cohan said ‘ there is a crack in everything, that's where the light gets in’ The Good Shepherd have been the light for so many men over the years,I believe, they deserve our support. I will be raffling this painting on Friday the 23rd December at Dean Street, Kilkenny. Tickets are €10 each and you could win a painting valued at €700. Tickets are available from Rollercoaster Records, Kieran St, Billy Byrnes, John st, the arts office, Dean St or on line at paypal.me/alanraggettstudios . The painting can be viewed along with the rest of the exhibition, in conjunction with YULEFEST at the Kilkenny Arts Office, open from 11-5:30 daily until 23rd December. You might see something you like…

On a personal note, this exhibition has been a culmination of 4 months work. Work that I had put off for many years, 9 to be exact. I was physically sick to my stomach the first time I showed my work again and to have it be received so positively has been nothing short of amazing. I'm really looking forward to my next few projects, thank you, you have gotten me here.

If you are around Kilkenny tomorrow at noon-ish ,please , come join us for the raffle, a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie…it is Christmas after all,

Thanks for the support, happy Christmas,

Al



Artwork - Auction in aid of The Good Shepherd Kilkenny


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