• birrtheatre

For Culture Night 2022, how about a bit of Palimpsest?


Palimpsest, The dictionary tells us, refers to a very old document in which writing has been removed or covered over; making way for new work.

For Culture Night 2022 the ‘Palimpsest’ project brings together 2 local artists (Eileen Casey and Emma Barone) who collaborate to take this meaning and apply it to shop fronts in Birr.


Both artists travel deep into layers of meaning, reawakening older energies, transforming and transcending how we look at the ordinary landscape encountered daily.



Eileen Casey grew up in the town (High Street) and remembers the past through micro detail i.e. those little red notebooks used for keeping track of what’s ‘owed’ in drapery shops such as Una Fagan.

Her poem ‘The Trouble with Houses’ highlights the changing nature of ‘home’ while ‘St Anthony Desolate Dancer’ seeks to infuse language with the chiaroscuro shading of Eamon Hackett’s Huckster Shop (now Birr Thrift Shop).


Emma Barone’s keen artistic vision uses a technique ‘photomontage’ in which she super-imposes new imaginative images over existing ones. The results combine past with present and sometimes too, there’s a hint of the future. Emma’s experimental vision brings exciting possibilities to the process.

Looking at her giant tea-cup (a sepia slide over The Villa Café frontage) brings the Leviathan at Birr Gardens to mind, a trompe l’oeil effect also achieved in her wonderfully tactile textured re-imagining of Barber’s Jewellery Shop.


Please join us on Culture Night to celebrate this collaborative vision and explore new meanings and new life in familiar places.








Emma & Eileen


Palimpsest is part of Culture night 2022, and supported by Offaly Arts


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