Artist returning home for some inspiration

Eleanor Phillips
Eleanor Phillips

ARTIST Eleanor Phillips, who now lives and works in Bray, Co Wicklow, hopes to shine a light on the tourism industry and she is returning to her home town for a little inspiration from the locals.

Originally from Pinewood, Eleanor grew up in Killarney and studied Fine Art in the National College of Art & Design and the University of Ulster before moving to County Wicklow.

Daughter of Eddie Phillips and Joan (nee O'Connor) from Kilcummin, for the past 20 years she has specialised in working in art which encourages community participation and her new collaborative project follows the same trend.

Funded by the Arts Council, Eleanor has several ideas ranging from a film short and audio pieces, to choreographed dance and even sculpture but she needs a little inspiration from local waitresses and others involved in the industry locally.

That's why she has arranged a special screening of Canadian film 'Dish' by award winning director Maya Gallus, a work that takes an illuminating look at the lives of waitresses in the restaurant business worldwide, from truck stops to fine dining.

The film will be screened at no charge in Conroy Hall, Park Road, this Wednesday, October 30 (7pm) and from speaking to those who attend, Eleanor hopes to gauge the feasibility of a project that aims to honour the experiences of the waitresses she grew up with.

"Like many of my friends growing up in Killarney I had a summer job in the local hotels and restaurants, for instance I worked in the kitchen in the Torc and then in reception," she said. "My mother was also involved in the industry and worked in The Great Southern, so there were always plenty of stories to share. They were of feisty people who were equally proud of their work but always humourous, even in a crisis, and I just want people to recall their own experiences and take it from there."

With a blank canvas, an exciting and unpredictable journey lies ahead for Eleanor and she has asked all interested to come along on the night and share their experiences and ideas.

Eleanor is a founding member of Signal Arts Centre in Bray and curates a 'pop-up' people's museum in north Dublin. The reception has been sponsored by the Gleneagle Hotel and the screening is funded by the Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create on behalf of the Arts Council, and supported by SIPTU and Fair Hotels.


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