THOUGHT PROVOKING Bernard McDonnell as Hugo The Bashful in 'Silent Moves'.
The moving, funny and challenging Ballina film ‘Silent Moves’ has been shortlisted for the year 2015 in The Irish Times’s Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks. Nine other artworks have made the shortlist for that year, including Anne Enright’s book ‘The Green Road’ and Brian Fray’s drawing ‘Vermeer Woman in Blue Reading a Letter 1662-65’.
Inspired by the classic black-and-white silent films of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, ‘Silent Moves’ is a 28-minute silent movie, with a strong emphasis on movement and mime, stop-motion animation techniques and slapstick motifs.
To make the film, visual artist Aideen Barry collaborated with Ballina Arts Centre and a group of 23 artists with disabilities from two Western Care projects – the Ridgepool Training Centre and Scannán Technologies. Working alongside Aideen was renowned dancer and choreographer, Emma O’Kane.
Shot on location in Ballina, ‘Silent Moves’ carries a strong message about attitudes towards disability. Using a love-triangle as a device, it challenges the viewer to consider the extra layers of complication introduced by disability.
Under Irish law, it remains an offence for an adult with an intellectual disability to have sex outside marriage, and such marriages are not encouraged. As Catherine Marshall, former Head of Collections at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, puts it: “In the year in which a majority of Irish people voted to allow same-sex marriage, this was a witty and thoughtful reminder that other inequities remain.”
Silent Moves was commissioned by Mayo County Council as part of Ignite, a platform designed to generate Ireland’s most ambitious showcasing of talent from people with disabilities, led by international and Irish artists and performers with disabilities.
To cast your vote, go to www.irishtimes/culture/modern-ireland-in-100-artworks.