Sunday, 30 November 2008

Drawing by my Mother

Mothering Sunday 1972, my mother Marian O'Hare drew portraits of all her children, me on the left, then Christina and Justin. The picture looks like I may have done a scribble over the top of Justin. Marian went to Hornsey art college in London and trained as a theatre designer, she found her husband there and got pregnant soon after her course had finished, which in those days meant you could not work in the theatre as there were no child care facility's. So her career was ended by us kids. Later she worked for the Lambert puppet theatre producing programmes and posters for shows, usually very late at night, when we had gone to bed. She was also an activist and protested for wheelchair ramps for the streets of Dublin and access for wheelchair users, she took the Lord Mayor for a ride in a wheelchair that ended very quickly as there was no where to go in a wheelchair. She volunteered for the wheelchair society driving people to day care centres, her back was soon out lifting the very heavy chairs on to the roof rack. She also worked on new wheelchair designs. If you see the film my left foot you will soon be informed of how hard it is if you are born disabled. Marian also campaigned to clean out the Dublin Canals which were full rubbish. The canals were used up until the 1960's for transporting flour and goods to factory's and warehouses. I remember the boats that were stranded in the canals after the scheme had ended. The canal campaign ended after she got the neighbours to help clean one lock which had 15 cars in it, dead dogs, tyres, eels, etc. The lock had flowers planted and benches put in and looked beautiful. Marian was labeled by the papers as water rat woman.
One of the protests I remember going on was save the viking village that was discovered by archaeologists, developers wanted to build an office block on top of it. The developers won and how stupid were they as it would have been a major tourist attraction.
Marian has recently been published in a book of the allotments of Norfolk with her illustrations. She has always grown fruit and vegetables as well as being part of a group of famous female elderly artists that go out drawing views of Norfolk every week. She also maintained her set design skills by making model doll houses and there contents.

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