Artist duo French & Mottershead look at society through the lens of local shops

A photographic project by UK artist duo French & Mottershead (Tate Modern, The Photographers Gallery) has been commissioned for Cashel Arts Festival 2017.
The Shops Project asks owners, staff and customers of selected Cashel shops to become involved in making a series of photographs and a public exhibition investigating what we buy and who we buy it for. Previously, this work has taken place in towns and cities across the Europe, Brasil and China, and has been the subject of a publication and a major exhibition in Sheffield, UK.
For Cashel Arts Festival 2017 French & Mottershead are working with five local shops, who will each invite their customers to come along with the relative, friend or loved one ‘who’ the purchase was made for and pose together amid a large gathering for a group photoshoot. One of these events will take place outside each participating shop.
You need to make a purchase to take part and invites will be made for two weeks leading up to the date for the photoshoots in Cashel, Saturday, 29th July.
The resulting photographs will be exhibited on the windows or walls of each shop from Saturday, 9th September, in the run up to and the duration of the festival [Thursday, 21st – Sunday, 24th September], and with a smaller edition remaining in place for permanent public view.
Artists French & Mottershead describe the project as a way of looking at society through the lens of local shops, and how the communities they form reflect the place and its people at that moment in time.
“It’s a way of creating moments of thoughfulness and playful encounter intertwined into everday life. We are excited to be working with fantastic Cashel shops that capture the difference and the individuality of the local, and inviting their staff and their customers to renegotiate their daily encounters. We hope the project will unpick some of the rich personal stories that underpin the choice of purchase, choices that are almost always those based on family ties, love and care.” – Andrew Mottershead, June 2017
Anne Marie O’Donnell, Chairperson of Cashel Arts Festival says: “French & Mottershead will offer Cashel an exciting opportunity to explore identity and our ties to Cashel and each other in a fun way”.
Dates: Saturday, 29th July Photo shoot with participating shops
Saturday, 9th September Official launch of Public Exhibition
Thursday, 21st – Sunday, 24th September Cashel Arts Festival
Venues: The 5 participating Cashel shops are:
Cashel Flowers
Davern’s (Clothes/Fashion)
Kujawiak (Polish Food Store)
Grogan’s (Ice Cream Parlour)
Martin O’Dwyers (Family Butcher)

Invitations available from participating shops.
About French & Mottershead
French & Mottershead are the UK artist duo Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead. Creating experiences across artform that are as playful and poetic as they are subversive, they investigate moments of exchange and transformation within public and private realms. Through their work they invite viewers and participants to think again about who they are, and their ties to place and one another.
Over the past 15 years French & Mottershead have developed a substantial body of socially-engaged, visual and participatory projects in site-specific contexts and locations, as well as showing work in galleries across the UK and internationally, including Tate Modern, The Photographers Gallery, Salt, Istanbul, Centro Cultural São Paulo and Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PiCA).
Recent commissions include; Woodland, IBT Bristol International Festival, 2017 Waterborne, Points of Departure, Estuary Festival, 2016, Brass Calls Heart of Glass, St Helen’s, 2015, The River Flows Gently, Yokohama, Japan, 2013, Walkways, Tate Modern, London, 2012, Over the Threshold, The Photographers’ Gallery, London 2011. French & Mottershead were Visiting Research Fellows at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London in 2015 and have received numerous invitations to run workshops, give talks and lectures.
www.frenchmottershead.com
@FrenchMotters