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Warwick-based writer and arts producer Melissa Shaw-Smith tells her personal story of growing up with filmmaker parents - David and Sally Shaw-Smith - and traveling with them around Ireland in the 70s and 80s as they documented the island’s rich cultural heritage through the rapidly disappearing way of life and skills of its traditional craftspeople.

HANDS is a unique, multi-award winning series of thirty-seven documentaries on Irish crafts. Made by the renowned filmmaking team, David and Sally Shaw-Smith, it was originally produced for Irish television (RTÉ). The Shaw-Smiths travelled the length and breadth of Ireland during the 1970s and ’80s, capturing on film the final years of traditional rural and urban life. These intimate portraits are as much about the life of the individuals as the crafts they practiced. The films capture the essence of Irish heritage, creating a unique archive of life in Ireland at the end of the 20th century.  All thirty-six documentaries are available on YouTube for those who wish to check out the work prior to presentation.

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