Creative Sligo. Connection Project


A bit of a change for the Meet the Maker Section as we caught up with Catherine Fanning to find out more about the connection project. Catherine tells us:

The ‘Connection’ project is about creating a new opportunity for a currently disused shop unit, while providing inspiration and space for artists to show art work and come together with the local community in a creative, engaged and inviting way.

The ‘Connection’ project is artists celebrating the past history and reimaging of a new life for a currently disused Sligo town shop unit, 8 John Street.
Pop up museum/gallery/interactive space.
Opening as part the Sligo Culture Night celebrations Sept 21st .

Following on from Culture Night the pop up gallery will be open for viewing/ audience interaction on Saturday 22nd, Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th (five hours opening per day).


Invited artists were offered the opportunity to create new artwork in response to the past history of 8 John Street once known as ‘Happy Hobbies’
“Happy Hobbies closed its doors 30 years ago after trading in John Street for a dozen years. It transferred from Castle St where it all began. Elizabeth Rowan (Lill) opened it in 1968. It was so much more than a shop..If the walls could talk it would tell stories of lives unfolding the passing of time. It was an Aladdin’s cave of haberdashery, yarns and threads for knitting, crocheting., baby clothes, handbags, upholstery supplies and craft materials and of course buttons.


For the past number of years I have been looking for an opportunity to link with our creative community and find a new use for the shop unit that not only relates to the former history of the shop but also connects with
the Sligo community to bring art to a new audience” Mary Foley shop owner, project manager and artist.

The Connection project is curated and co-ordinated by visual/social practice artist Catherine Fanning, Catherine has vast experience not only as a practicing artist but also working within social community setting, engaging with creative community practice, curation, gallery practice and linking
with festivals.


The twelve participating artists are Helen Devaney, Catherine Fanning, Mary Foley, Ken Gunning, Deirdre Houston, Rosemary Hurrell, Dorothee Kolle, Anna Leask, Clare Lynch, Donnacha O Callaghan, Stephen Rennicks and Sarah Sexton.

The Connection project provides a great opportunity for artists from various disciplines to make artworks and explore links between contemporary art practice and old domestic craft materials.

The project is funded and supported by Sligo County Council and Creative Ireland.

Sligo Hub