Michelle O'Grady & Julia Dunin | Exhibition | Ireland

Exhibition: In Celebration of Children

In Celebration of Children is a beautiful photographic exhibition created by Michelle O'Grady from Réalta School of Speech and Drama and Julia Dunin Photography. The photographs were captured during a special photoshoot designed to raise self-esteem and confidence.

Michelle works with children from all walks of life to help them to express themselves and to grow in confidence. Julia is a Galway-based photographer originally from Poland. Both are passionate about empowering children and raising their self-esteem.

Michelle wanted to give her students a unique experience that would leave them feeling fantastic about themselves. Commenting she said:
"I loved the idea of a child having a photoshoot all about them and perhaps in twenty years’ time, they would find this photo and feel brilliant about themselves all over again. There is no way there cannot be a great knock-on effect for the future if we make our children feel fantastic now."

Michelle invited Julia Dunin to photograph her students. Julia’s skill and vision brought a real honesty to these portraits. Commenting on the experience Julia said: "The atmosphere was electric, emotional and incredible. The experience of their personal photoshoot empowered the children, but also gave us an insight into their true personality.”

Baboró believes strongly in the transformative power of the arts in the lives of children and is delighted to be able to share these beautiful portraits as part of this year’s festival.

Please Note: The exhibition is located in The Wonder Works, which is beside The Connacht Tribune offices on Market Street in the heart of Galway.

“She’s a happier child – more content – and Michelle has brought that out in her.”- The Irish Times.

Réalta School of Speech and Drama is located in Galway and specialises in one-to-one classes for both children and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, or other additional needs. From her extensive work with children with additional needs, Michelle O'Grady began to notice how engaging with speech and drama allowed her students to express their remarkable imaginations. She also works with children and adults who can feel shy or a little bit anxious and runs a weekly mainstream drama class in Galway city for a small group of children with a focus on drawing out their skills and reminding them of how wonderful they already are!

Julia Dunin is a photographer specialising in creative portraits. Julia brought her skill and vision for this project to create honest portraits of children of different age and backgrounds, empowering them through the experience of their personal photoshoot, but also allowing the viewer to have an insight into their true personality. As a result, the exhibition consists of 20 unique black and white portraits.

Parking: There is is an outdoor carpark next to the venue priced at €2.70 ph.

Public Bus: The Eyre Square bus station is a 9 minute walk to the Wonder Works.

Walking: The Wonder Works is approximately a 6 minutes walk from the Town Hall Theatre and very close to Lynch's Castle on Shop Street.