We all have a right to be accepted, to be loved and to be creative

DEBORAH HICKEY talks to a Cork based furniture artist and designer about her work and a special project called the ‘Listening Chairs’
We all have a right to be accepted, to be loved and to be creative

Geraldine Noonan of Pieces.

DON’T throw it out - give me a shout! This is the philosophy behind Pieces, a unique upstyling design service, founded by Cork based furniture artist and designer, Geraldine Noonan. Pieces breathes life back into old, dusty attic lamps, keepsakes, discarded fabrics and much, much more.

Geraldine offers affordable upcycling services, sustainable artisan designs, quirky interior accessories, customised refurbishments and original, one of a kind pieces.

Many of us have household items or pieces of furniture in our homes that we value but are unsure how to incorporate into our own individual decor style. Items may hold sentimental value or simply be in need of a fresh new look.

Geraldine explains how her transformative service can give these items a new lease of life: “We all have that piece, object or item that we can’t throw out but don’t know what to do with. We just put it in a drawer or attic - we are all guilty of this. I work with the customer by getting the story behind the piece.

"We discuss where they want to place it in their homes or how to ensure it can be passed onto future generations presentable and intact. If you have a significant piece of memorabilia, but it needs a bit of TLC, Pieces can help!”

Central to the theme of Pieces is representation. With this in mind, Geraldine has recently completed a project in celebration of Pride and equality. ‘Listening Chairs,’ is a celebration of the LGBTQIA community, and of the artist’s own creativity.

“I wanted to create a piece of art that would represent me, as a creative person, while supporting and appreciating the differences around me at the same time. I wanted to encapsulate all communities in ‘Listening Chairs.’”

Geradine’s goal with the creation of this project is to promote the message: You are heard. These vibrant artworks embrace the colours of Pride as well as wider communities.

“I wanted to encapsulate all communities in ‘Listening Chairs.’ We all have a right to be accepted, to be loved and to be creative.”

This artwork is a colourful representation of the LGBTQIA community, while the artist’s use of brown and black also pays homage to a broad spectrum of identities.

Inclusivity and equality are a priority of Pieces’ mandate, and for Geraldine.

“I designed the chairs for someone to sit down and tell me what’s on your mind. I will listen to you. You will be heard,” said Geraldine Noonan of Pieces.
“I designed the chairs for someone to sit down and tell me what’s on your mind. I will listen to you. You will be heard,” said Geraldine Noonan of Pieces.

“I aspire to use Pieces as a platform for representation, where all cultures and identities can find, see, feel and experience something familiar when they encounter my work.”

Geraldine feels strongly about social justice and ‘Listening Chairs,’ was created in celebration of equality: “Being a mother myself, I relate to the notion of knowing that every human being on this planet is someone’s child.

“Every child, every person should be entitled to equitable rights and privileges.”

The artist chose the concept of the chair in this artwork to create a listening space.

“I designed the chairs for someone to sit down and tell me what’s on your mind. I will listen to you. You will be heard.”

Originally from Mallow, Geraldine now lives, with husband Richard, in Monkstown. With their daughters, Laura and Megan grown, Geradine embarked on a new chapter in her life.

“Artisan creativity and design was something I was always interested in. I established Pieces when I found myself with an empty nest. My daughter, Megan, works here in Cork as a chartered accountant, while my eldest daughter, Laura, is in Canada.

Laura and I work together on Pieces. She helps mainly with writing and my social media. Pieces has become a bridge for us and has allowed us to remain connected through the distance. This has been especially valuable over the past year and a half when Covid inhibited our ability to see each other.”

The idea to offer a service which can breathe new life into treasured memories came to Geraldine through an invaluable keepsake of her own.

“After my dad passed away, I stumbled across a piece of bog oak in his shed. I remembered each day dad would light a candle and say, ‘let there be light.’ I transformed that piece of bog oak into a lamp. It is a beautiful piece of decor that now sits in our living room. It reflects him and his saying. That was the piece that really established the upcycle component of Pieces and the philosophy of ‘don’t throw it out,’ something can be done with it.

“Listening Chairs,’ like most of Geraldines creations, are one-off pieces which have been upcycled and upstyled.

They are available to purchase from Cork city centre antique store, P. Cashell, on Winthrop Street and Geraldine’s work can also be purchased directly from her warehouse on Sarsfield Road, Wilton.

For further information contact: piecesbygeraldine@gmail.com, Instagram: @pieces_by_geraldine and Facebook: Pieces - Don’t Throw it Out Give Me a Shout.

Being a mother myself, I related to the notion of knowing that every human being on this planet is someone’s child. Every child, every person should be entitled to equitable rights and privileges.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more