Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper 2024

Weekly in the Workspace

The Crawford Gallery of Art in Cork will be closing soon for a major refurbishment and its Collection will go into storage. With the help of Michael Waldron, Crawford’s Assistant Curator of Collections & Special Projects, we have the opportunity to select works from Crawford’s Collection of over 3,000+ artworks and build an exhibition for Uillinn for 2025. The show will be called  Grá and will celebrate love in all its forms.  Our Salt & Pepper people will explore the Collection to bring their favourite pieces together to create a broad, diverse and inclusive exhibition for Uillinn. We will also be working on some art works of our own that will speak to those we have chosen.

Toma explains, "our group is called Salt & Pepper because we are at the time of life when our hair is starting to speckle but we are also the essential spice of life! If you identify as an older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans, or a sprinkle of all those terms and a shake of others, you can contact Uillinn to find out more."

"This is a fantastic opportunity" says Ann Davoren, Director of Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre "to bring two public institutions - the Crawford and Uillinn, together with the Salt & Pepper group, ably mentored and supported in this wonderful project by artist Toma McCullim and curator Michael Waldron. I'm really looking forward to seeing the result of their exploration and the exhibition that will be created from that for Uillinn in 2025."

Image above: Credit Jackie Nevin 

Toma McCullim
Salt and Pepper

1 May to 13 May 2023
Studio 3
Studio open to visitors Tuesday & Saturday

Salt and Pepper returns for a second year with artist Toma McCullim as creative producer, ’Salt and Pepper because we are at the time of life when our hair is starting to speckle but we are also the essential spice of life!’ the project invites older people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans or a sprinkle of all those terms and shake of others to weekly sessions or studio drop in 2 to 13 May to create together and document an important moment in time for our older and rural LGBTQ+ community; reflecting on past and present challenges and celebrate older rainbow generation commonality and achievements.

'Bealtaine Festival celebrates the arts and creativity as we age,' as Toma describes,' this is time to show up and shine. Salt and Pepper collective, this May, will be creating a participative film together. We will be weaving story and image with sound from our multi points of view to tell a tale of belonging. We will be playing the fool, acting up, and coming out with all sorts.'

As part of the project dance artist Andrew Coombs (UK) and filmmaker Julie Ballands will facilitate sessions in movement and filmmaking respectively, sharing both skills and getting involved in the collective explorations. There will also be a soundscape session with Carole Nelson (dates to be arranged) Tuesday 2nd and Tuesday 9th May at 7.30pm to 9.30pm there will be performance and film screening at Uillinn.

If this project sounds like it might resonate with you and you'd like to get involved, drop us an email at or call 02822090

Toma McCullim is an ‘artivist’- an activist artist. Her work is powered by a strong belief in social justice and environmental ecology. Her participatory practice empowers her collaborators in the amplification of their own authentic voice. As an anthropologist of art, she is interested in the fundamental question: ‘What does art do?’ Her work stimulates a call to action for creative change making. Toma has a 1st class BA (hons) Degree in Anthropology of Art from the University of East Anglia and has an MA in Arts Process from the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork.

Facebook Toma McCullim
Instagram @tomamccullim

Week 1

Salt and Pepper
Stairway and Link Galleries
12 July to 10 September 2022

Salt and Pepper is a group of LGBTQ+ elders who met on the park benches of west Cork for the month of May. In June we brought the collected stories into the workshop at Uillinn to create this exhibition. Artist Toma McCullim worked with her peers to create collective artworks which muse on our life journeys. The willow tree will bow but not break talks about acts of memorial. The red ribbons remind us of the tragic toll of AIDS took. Now hung on the tree in the Irish folk tradition they represent rituals of healing. This is the map started from a conversation about the young us that had no idea of what life would have in store as we grew older. I was the only lesbian I knew. There was no map...only... ‘beyond here be monsters’.

Image: Salt and Pepper, image by Toma McCullim, 2022

WCAC acknowledges the financial support of Arts Council Ireland and Cork County Council in making these exhibitions possible.


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