Celebrate women

Mandy, photographed by Ciara Drennan for 'See Me As A Woman'
HONORARY Laois citizen Ciara Drennan is currently exhibiting a unique exhibition in the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge, entitled ‘See me as a Woman’.

HONORARY Laois citizen Ciara Drennan is currently exhibiting a unique exhibition in the Riverbank Arts Centre in Newbridge, entitled ‘See me as a Woman’.

See me as a Woman is an audio visual presentation, consisting of photographs and quotes from 38 women who are supported in various ways through the services of KARE. This organisation provide a wide range of support services to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the midlands.

The exhibition was launched last Friday which was international womens’ day. The photography project consists of a simple black and white headshot of each woman with a quote from them on what it means to them to be a woman.

Launching the presentation on International Women’s Day means that they are part of a global movement of women who work to promote their rights and a positive powerful message of solidarity.

On International Women’s Day, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, and government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatrical performances, fashion parades and more.

Ciara is currently on a career break from KARE (provide a wide range of support services to people with intellectual disabilities) and has spent part of that time developing her photography.

“I wanted to do something different and give something back to the people that I have worked with for so long. I was in the centre that I worked in (Naas) last October and approached one of the teachers there to see what they thought about collaborating on a photography project. Frieda was delighted as she had an idea in her head for five years but was never able to follow it through,that’s where I was able to come in”.

Ciara said that she and other KARE workers wanted to give a voice to these women and the project grew from that concept. They held two information sessions with the interested women and had a chat about what is International Women’s Day and what it would be like to do something to be part of it.

Ciara took photos of 38 women in under 5 hours one day at the start of February.

“We had such an amazing day, we had given each lady a time slot to come over and as they arrived at the location we ensured they had their model release forms with them and then if they wanted hair and make up done that would be done for them. There was music playing throughout the day, we had laughs, we shared a few emotional moments and for me it was a very special day that will stay with me for a long time”.

The exhibition will be on show at the Riverbank for the next few weeks and those who miss it can visit www.ciaradrennan.com to see more. Ciara is not stopping there though and already has plans for the next few months.

“I am hoping to expand on this project over the next year, perhaps with a new set of people and maybe just maybe I can help people find their voice. If you are interested in collaborating with me on this or any future projects please drop me a line on drennan.ciara@gmail.com”.