Twinning Lines Displays Irish Connection
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the City of St. John’s has remounted the Twinning Lines exhibit, part of the City’s Civic Art Collection, in the Great Hall of City Hall.
Twinning Lines was created in connection with the twinning agreement between the City of St. John’s and the City of Waterford, Ireland, which was formalized in 2002. The series of photographs taken by Sheilagh O’Leary prior to her election to City council, features portraits of people with the same surname on both sides of the ocean – Newfoundland and Ireland.
The twinning agreement between St. John’s and Waterford is based on the common heritage of the two cities stemming from the emigration from Waterford to St. John’s in the eighteenth century and reflected in identical family names, shared seafaring expertise, traditional trade links and maritime business. That historical relationship is reflected in the various activities and exchanges which have been ongoing before and since the formal Twinning Agreement.
To prepare the exhibit O’Leary conducted extensive research at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, and met with local Irish historians and geographers, notably Prof. John Mannion. She traveled the Irish Loop of Newfoundland and the areas of Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny Counties in Ireland researching linked ancestry through the use of black & white portraiture. The photographs were presented at Garter Lane in Waterford on November 4, 2004, and went on to become part of the City of St. John's Civic Art Collection.
Twinning Lines is on display in the Great Hall of City Hall for the next few weeks, and can be viewed during regular opening hours.