Walking along Youghal’s Main Street, one’s eye is drawn to a most unusual and interesting display in the window of S. Adams Shoe Shop. The shop front itself is preserved, and is unusual and beautiful. Marcella Reardon is an artist, born in Cork, who met her husband, Tony Sheehan, in London twenty or so years ago. Tony, born and reared in Youghal, is well known to many of the locals and, in fact, he and Marcella live in his Grandmother’s house in DeValera Street.
Denise FitzGerald Reports| Pic: Michael Hussey www.youghalonline.com Email: email@example.com
Marcella told the East Cork Journal that, sitting one day in The Nook Bar, she was taken with a 1920’s Tourist poster which advertised the town of Youghal in those bygone days of yore. ‘The picture’, she said, ‘is very romantic, the clothes from the 20s reflect relaxation and enjoyment, and it gives a holiday atmosphere image of the town. Thus an idea was formed and, with the permission of Michael Treacy, Marcella borrowed the poster to display in Sammy Adams shop, around which she would make her window art installation.
Marcella’s vision is to improve the streetscape of the town of Youghal by filling with beautiful displays, any empty spaces in shops or premises along the streets. The displays would represent the seaside town in colourful and positive images which would not only improve the deserted windows, but also draw the attention of holidaymakers and visitors.
This first window art installation includes many items pertaining to the shoe trade which are intended to honour the significance and tradition of the Adams family, and Sam Adams in particular. An original pair of 1920’s shoes which, Marcella tells the East Cork Journal, she travelled many, many miles to procure, sit comfortably beside objects which were collected locally. Crab Shells came from Caliso Bay, little Quartz stones were brought in from the Slob Bank pathway, and all the flower prints are from local wild flowers which were picked from the beaches and hedgerows. Picnics, sunshine, bathing, fun and relaxation are all portrayed on this turquoise surrounded window and bring an atmosphere of good times for all. Marcella is a Magpie…..she collects from every car boot sale, fetes, summer open garden days, various stalls, second hand shops and also from her friends who know of her hoarding of anything old.
Marcella will be known to the people of Youghal for her initiative “The last days, the end of Carpets at Youghal”, which was undertaken in 2007/8 with the help of Derek Speirs, Photographer. Photographs of the local weavers, tuners, winders and all associated with Youghal Carpets were taken at their place of work just prior to the closure of Youghal Carpets. The Exhibit is owned by the town of Youghal and hopefully, at some time in the future, will be made available for viewing by the people.
Living in Youghal since 2003, Marcella told the East Cork Journal that she has received great encouragement and co-operation from the people of the town. Doris, son of Sammy Adams, was very generous in providing the shop window for the display and helped in every way she could, encouraging Marcella at all times. The initiative is sponsored by Youghal Town Council, Printing is by Barry Lawlor Photography, Poster by kind permission of Michael Treacy, The Nook Bar, postcard photographs were sourced by Tom Fitzgerald (an A to Z of Youghal), and Shoes and Shoemakers heels were courtesy of Pat Looby. Special thanks also to Eamon O’Brien, Gallery 126 and to Fukoko Ando (fukokoando.com Paris)
Marcella, of course, is encouraged greatly by Tony, who is Director of Triskel Arts Centre and who is very patient with the accumulation of all things old which, Marcella says, are all over the house. She hopes this is just the start of many more wonderful window exhibitions in Youghal, and one can be absolutely certain that, in the Sheehan house in DeValera Street there will be no such thing as decluttering!