The Nomadic Mapping Project was initially launched on Friday 10th December as Ballymun’s contribution to the annual Traveller Pride Week. The art project was developed by three groups of Traveller women working with artist Seoidín O’Sullivan to explore ideas of family, home and travel and learn new craft skills. The participants involved were women from St Margaret’s Travellers Fás Local Training Initiative, St Margaret’s Travellers Primary Health Care Project and the Ballyfermot Traveller Action Project Women’s Group. The exhibition was displayed in the Atrium of the Ballymun Civic Offices open to the public for two weeks. The project was funded by Create while the Ballymun Whitehall Area Partnership also supported the launch.
The women drew and painted images of home and travel. Following this, each woman chose a memory from a place in Ireland, from which they built a map. Some women chose to express this with embroidery and quilting, while others focused on painting.
“Seoidín’s classes were very enjoyable. The painting was very good and the maps too. She was a very nice teacher to work with. She helped me with the art. It was the first time I did art classes. I found them very interesting. It was interesting for me. I worked with a lot of paints and different colours. We learnt how to mix them. Art can be fun.” Mary Maughan
“I enjoyed doing the family trees and the maps. Seoidín was very helpful with everything. I did a map of Ireland with lots of beautiful colours. The colours were very nice. I traced it on paper and I glued it onto cloth. Then I painted it. I only did my own family tree back as far as my grandparents.” Bridget Maughan
“The group had to do a map; we had to trace the map of Ireland onto a large piece of paper. We then had to fill in the names of the counties onto our map and then we had to put a coloured circle sticker on to a county that we visited, lived in or holidayed in. I also added colour to my map. ” Ann McDonnell