(Artistic) life begins at 80!

Nora Fallon recently held her first art exhibition – at the age of 80! Nora, assisted by the wonderful Carers’ employee Najla Sabir, held the art exhibition in St. John’s Community Centre, Lecarrow, just before Christmas.

  Nora received great support from her family, friends, neighbours and the wider local community for undertaking such an innovative and inspirational project.

  So, at the age of 80, how did this all come about? 

  Nora explains that in May 2015, Najla Sabir, an employee from The Carers Association in Roscommon, starting visiting her on Mondays.

  Najla, who is from Iraq – and a qualified art teacher – began doing art with Nora.

  Says Nora: “The only creative thing I would have done in the past was when my children were growing up, I made all their dresses, as I have seven girls. I would also have knitted cardigans, scarves and gloves for my two sons. I wasn’t sure what Najla was going to do for two hours when she first came, as I already have a carer who comes to me to help in more practical ways as my mobility is not as good as it used to be. I was somewhat surprised when on the first day Najla arrived with her bag of art materials!”

  Nora went on to say that not only is Najla extremely talented, she is also so warm and kind. 

  “Every Monday, Najla would come with an idea of what I could make and we would work together for two hours – not even my own family had any idea of what we were doing! 
  “By December, I had so many art items made that the idea of doing a small exhibition was suggested by Najla. Initially, I was hesitant about this but I got encouragement from Najla, Bernie Dowling of The Carers Association and my family, who all said that it was a great idea and would also highlight that the work a carer does is not always of a domestic nature.

  “Najla and my daughter, Noreen, organised the exhibition, so until I walked into the Community Centre in Lecarrow on that morning, I had no idea what it was going to look like. I was so surprised and even taken aback to see all the items, which were beautifully laid out and all the people who turned out to support me.”

  Items that Nora had made ranged from paintings to vases to mirrors, as well as candle holders and mosaics, to name a few. Nora also made a piece of art for each of her nine children, with their names and a special memory, and these were all on display. Nora has since given the piece of art to each family member – and she didn’t forget her husband of 56 years either!

  The proceeds of items that were sold on the day went to The Carers Association. All items were sold!

  Nora says: “I would like to thank Najla for encouraging and supporting me and for the excellent work she does, not only with me but with other people she works with. I feel it is very therapeutic and has helped me immensely. There is already talk of a second exhibition!”

  At the recent exhibition, Louise Finnegan and Eileen Conboy from The Carers Association welcomed everyone and congratulated Nora and Najla on what they achieved in a short space of time. Louise made apologies for Bernie Dowling who could not attend due to a previous commitment.