Photo Gallery: Well-known Longford faces inspire local art exhibition 'The Heart of the Matter'

Jessica Thompson

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Jessica Thompson

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jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

A local artist and writer got to people's hearts last week, with the launch of an art exhibition and accompanying book in the Backstage Theatre.

'The Heart of the Matter’ is a collection of Phil Atkinson's paintings of local Longford faces, with an accompanying book of writing by Anna Delaney.

“The project and the book are called ‘The Heart of the Matter’ because we were trying to get to the heart of what makes Longford so special in people’s minds. And we’re in the heart of the country, so that was another reason we chose that name,” Anna explained.

“We interviewed 10 people and I asked them questions about the town, what they love about Longford, what brought them here, what makes them stay, and Phil photographed their reactions to each of those questions.”

What resulted was a collection of paintings that captured the essence of each character featured in the exhibition.

“The idea was to celebrate the people of Longford in the community and the part that local people play in developing the story of Longford, and the evening itself then became a community event,” said Anna.

Phil was also pleased with the success of the evening: “There was a great turnout. I was blown away by it."

The exhibition can be seen in the Atrium Gallery at the Backstage Theatre and will be on display during office hours and on nights of shows until March 10. The book is available to purchase in the Longford Tourism Office, Backstage Theatre, the library and Newsround.