Category Archives: culture

Borders: an artist’s impression

‘I’ve never been to Kathmandu, but thanks to NLT’s fundraising exhibition “Borders: from Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond”, two of my photographs have. I didn’t see the whole exhibition until it came to the Arthouse in Co Laois, by which time it had hung in Lalgadh Leprosy Hospital in Nepal and in Cill Rialaig Arts Centre on the coast of Kerry. Almost, you could see the journey the works had made.

Bridge, Dechen Shying, photographic print by Sharon Hogan
Bridge, Dechen Shying, photographic print by Sharon Hogan

All the works exhibited were roughly of the same size and hung in two rows, one above the other. Walking along the white walls of the Arthouse gallery and corridor felt nearly like looking through a series of windows, at landscapes and people and colours from the private worlds of each of the contributing artists. On one side of the gallery, through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Arthouse itself, green grass and Irish weather told us where we physically were; but opposite them, through the window of each small art-piece, we could take imaginative journeys to Himalayan mountains, Irish country sides, children on glinting seashores, dancing women against sunsets, watery flowers, vibrant colour-splashes and black & white silhouettes. It was a joyous and joyful celebration of difference and unity: playful artists from differing backgrounds hanging side-by-side in order to raise money for one serious disease: leprosy.

I’m told that as little as four euro is all it costs to make a pair of bespoke shoes for people whose feet no longer feel the earth due to the nerve damage leprosy can cause, that six euro can sponsor an overnight bed for someone who has travelled many miles to receive hospital treatment; that a well and a pump can be built for 250 euro and a two-roomed village school can be built from just 1,000 euro. Thanks to the generosity of people who bought our work at the various exhibitions, it’s possible that close to 450 pairs of shoes might have been made and distributed, or that 600 people slept in hospital beds before journeying home after treatment, or that perhaps 15 wells were built, or at least three village schools. It’s deeply satisfying. I make a piece of work; someone likes it and welcomes it into their home somewhere in Ireland; and someone in Nepal who is living with leprosy has a night’s rest, puts on their shoes and goes home to their village where water flows and their children go to school. It’s that simple. It’s that direct.

The theme of the exhibition was “Borders”. Sometimes it feels as if there are no such things’.

Blog by artist Sharon Hogan Oct 2015.

Sharon Hogan and Vera McEvoy, Arthouse. Co. Laois.
Sharon Hogan and Vera McEvoy, Arthouse. Co. Laois.


Borders lll exhibition in the Arthouse.
Borders lll exhibition in the Arthouse.



Art works

It certainly has for NLT. The project ‘Borders: from Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond’ has raised more than €3,000 for NLT’s work in Nepal.

Can you react before an act? You’d think so, from the timing of the project’s three art exhibitions. The first, in Kathmandu at Easter, escaped the first earthquake by two weeks. The second, at the beginning of May in Kerry, drew big crowds and donations.

At the opening of the third exhibition in Stradbally, County Laois, visitors brought their own stories of Nepal. Some had backpacked in the Himalayas, some supported educational charities and one tough cookie had hitched a lift through the mountains into Tibet. All shared a love of the country and its beautiful people. And they proved it with their purses; many artists gave all the money from their sales to NLT.

Huge thanks to everyone who attended and supported the exhibitions. By Debbie Thomas.

Busy Summer

We have had a very busy Summer here in Ireland. We completed the touring art exhibition Borders: from Kathmandu to Kerry and Beyond and held our exciting Vintage Afternoon Tea Party. 

Both these events raised greater awareness of our charity and increased our funds by €5,700 between them.

Above images by, A. Foster, M. Gillard, K. Hendy, G. Leonard, P. Quinn, L.  Watkins, and D. Walsh.
Above images by, A. Foster, M. Gillard, K. Hendy, G. Leonard, P. Quinn, L. Watkins, and D. Walsh.
Vintage Afternoon Tea Party June 2015
Vintage Afternoon Tea Party June 2015

The very best part of these events is the wonderful people we met. Reconnecting with supporters and establishing new relationships and friends along the way.

The art open call was launched in February and just as the final exhibition was winding down the Vintage Afternoon Tea Party was starting to generate excitement.

If you wish to be notified about theses events next year sign up here

More information on our summer newsletter here

Creativity in Limerick

The pupils of St. Nessan’s National School, Mungret, Limerick creatively raised €1,320  for the Nepal earthquake relief fund on their recent colours day.

A cheque was donated to Mike Winterburn of Nepal Leprosy Trust  (NLT) on 9th June 2015. Mike has lived in Nepal for a number of years and was discussing Nepalese life and the trusts work there with the 6th classes.  The money raised by the pupils was donated to NLT’s earthquake relief fund. It will be used in the Sindhupalchowk area of Nepal where families urgently need, shelter, clothing, food and in some cases medicine.

For a cost of approximately €90 a family of five can be provided with sufficient clothes, food, medicine, blankets and temporary shelter for a month.

6th Class Student Council members present a cheque to M. Winterburn
6th Class Student Council members present a cheque to M. Winterburn
6th Classes, St Nessan Mungret NS
6th Classes, St Nessan Mungret NS

Craft Fair in Farmleigh

Tuesday 23rd September 2014.

Thanks to everyone who attended the Nepalese Cultural day in Farmleigh last Sunday. We really appreciated the interest and support for both our craft sale and in hearing about our mission in Nepal.  Sales of Christmas stock was surprisingly high although not altogether unusual as the felt Santa Cones are really loveable. It was such a glorious warm sunny Sunday!

Photo: Alison Irwin
Photo: Alison Irwin
Felt Making

There was a lot of interest in how the felt santa cones are made.     They start out as pieces of dyed  wool fibres, which are kneaded and matted together, by hand, using warm water and soap. As the wool shrinks and tightens the pieces are formed into specific shapes to give an end result.  To form the santa, pieces of cone shaped wood are used as a structure to support the felt as it dries which in turn absorbs the shape of the cone.

The natural lanolin in the wool, the warm soapy water and the hand movements are extremely beneficial to hands that have suffered as a result of leprosy infection.  The finished products provide income generation opportunities for the artisans,  who are supported by NLT Kathmandu.

Felt Santa



Nepal Day Craft Fair in Farmleigh, Phoenix Park. Sunday 21st September 2014 from 12pm – 5pm.

Join us for a family fun day in the beautiful setting of Farmleigh estate. Nepalese crafts, cultural performances, food, photographic exhibition plus much, much more. Come and say hello to us at the NLT stall.  We will be selling Nepalese jewellery, batik cards, felt beaded hearts, and stars in a fantastic range of colours.

NLT Kathmandu
NLT Kathmandu

This photo was taken in April as Durga, Sunita and Sarmila hand sew on beads and put the finishing touches to the felt hearts, angels and star shapes for our order for Ireland. This is one section of the  NLT craft workroom in Kathmandu, it is outdoors under a light canvas roof.  I watched as the artisans sat cross legged sewing, they can remain working in this position for hours.

Santa_Cone _crop_011

These happy felt faces are looking for a home for Christ… it is a little early in the year, and with summer still here, to finish typing  the above  word!