I hope you all got over Christmas and through January Unscathed??
Can you believe its February already! Yesterday was the start of the Chinese new year 5th Feb, the year of the pig....it is an auspicious year for many of us (thank jaysus cause the last few have been very bumpy indeed) and yesterday Google offered us this link, a mine of information all about it and what it means for us all going forward.
It also gives me the perfect excuse to pull my auld mucca (see what I did here) Baba Muc out of the picture file and relish in all his glory - I loved this pig, creating him was a feat of endurance as he is entirely covered in encaustic wax paint, his ruff, his crown and the stones at his feet are also encaustic and paper, His Crown is covered in Gold leaf and there are pearls sewn into his ruff and its finished with a gold leaf trim. if I hadn't had promised him to Pigsonparade.ie and Jackandjillchildrensfoundation.ie I would have kept him - I hope he brings his loving new owners a regular smile and a listening glossy waxy ear! (hes gracing the bottom of this post - give him a like).
January was a strange month wasn't it? It was a long one for many but funnily enough not long enough for me. Why you might ask? well, friends, I was been missing in action, away on a residency in stunning South Kerry. See Info Here
I was thrilled to attend the Cill Rialaig Project in Ballinaskelligs an award I received early last year, the dates were set and I was all excited and anxious about every aspect of it! Before I even considered going I had to make sure himself was on board, it was over two weeks of dealing with everything on his own, kids, schools, house, dog and a full-time stressful job with no respite ---Go! he said - angel x
And so I did, I was anxious about the drive, over 6 plus hours from door to door. Now if you know me and my story you will know that I suffer from episodic chronic fatigue syndrome...its a long complicated story but needless to say a drive of this magnitude is enough to raise the auld cortisol levels...I decided to break up the journey over two days, booked a b&b along the way and had myself a decent nights kip! The car was jammers, literally just enough space for me, myself and I. I brought way WAY too much stuff, too many clothes & shoes (I know don't ask) far too many materials and print papers and a ridiculous amount of reading materials, books and papers - don't do this folks, I was appointed my cottage and within hours of unpacking it looked as if Id lived there for ten years! Madness!!
I arrived in the fading light but even so the beauty was spectacilar...right on the Atlantic coast, the ever-changing light was simply majestic and the colour palette shifted from cinematic glory to full greys and shrouding mists in mere minutes...breathtaking stuff.
My renovated pre-famine thatched cottage accommodation was wonderful, a cosy loft bedroom from which I took many a morning photo, an open sitting room and studio space in the downstairs - the work/live balance worked beautifully for me. A kitchen and bathroom and that's it....the neighbours also on residency consisted of poets, painters, musicians and writers....a friendly bunch with varied and interesting stories to tell and a mutual understanding not to step over boundaries in terms of privacy and space to work. I took a gazillion photos, toured about, visited many a beautiful windy beach, made memories, friends and works of art. I also deeply fell in love with the place and the people and will be back for sure, not just to the residency but to the area....the stunning beauty of this island of ours is simply overwhelming and Kerry especially and as my mate Conor from Tralee says "We don't call it the Kingdom for nothing" too true Conor too true.
I honestly have so many more photos but for now this shall give you all a glimpse, I visited Valentia, Waterville, Portmagee, Kilgorlin, Caherrsiveen, Derrynane beach and every cove, corner and crook of Ballinaskelligs that I could find...It s a magical place it really is and although the village at Cill Rialaig is not officailly open to the public if you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods go explore the hills.
Contemporary Visual Artist working in mixed media/encaustic based in the durmlins of Co.Monaghan. Ireland.