For more than 100 years the Trades Club was the home of a vibrant and self-determined organisation. Operating successfully thanks to generations of voluntary management, the club provided a vital social service for its many members. However the premises at Number 2, Castle Street fell into in a poor state of repair and the club closed its doors to the public in 2006.
In 2008 The Model commissioned Séamus Nolan to develop a new process-based and socially collaborative art project in Sligo. After a period of research the project, entitled The Trades Club Revival, was developed and it has sought to re-establish the traditional Trades Club premises as a self-determined centre for community involvement.
Through this ongoing process-based project, Seamus Nolan has worked collaboratively with members of the local community on the revival of the old Trades Club building. Together with committee members of the Sligo Trades Club, Nolan presents this exhibition of documents and memorabilia associated with the extensive history of the club.
The positive response from the local community has been overwhelming. Several people generously contributed time and labour, and great headway has been made in terms of preparation, painting, and general improvements. Many more people have offered much needed advice on the bar and services aspects of running a club as well as plumbing, furniture design and the improvement of the yard. In addition the project has received generous donations of glassware and furniture from a local bar.
Seamus Nolan reopened the Sligo United Trades Club in late 2010. A series of events and performances took place there including traditional music sessions, a former member’s story-telling night, meetings, exhibitions and workshops. In 2011, The Trades Club continue to develop as a functioning social and cultural space in keeping with local input and demand. A book, including texts by both past members and contemporary cultural theorists, will be published in 2011.
This project has also been supported by a Project Realisation award under the Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create