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BALLINGLEN

My residency in Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co. Mayo (courtesy of County Cork Arts Office) was one of those milestones in life where you really feel something major has shifted. For me it was a consolidation of 20 years of work, thoughts, feelings and research that all united through my art. I spent 10 glorious days in the company of my dog, Alberta, and the Co. Mayo landscape.

As I have said on my About page this residency was a life changing experience – both for my art practice and for my understanding about myself as an international artist living in Ireland. It really made me see why Ireland resonates so deeply with me. Indeed, travelling to the Céide fields and Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, was unexpectedly like a homecoming. The raw, unapologetic landscape with its magnificent beauty went right into my DNA. Spending time amongst the stones on the Céide fields – and trying to imagine how it was when they were deliberately placed there some 6000 years ago to create devillings and field systems – was like ‘seeing’ the blood run through my veins. Once bustling with life, they now lie in patterns, like rivers and lakes, vessels of history that allow the passerby a momentary glimpse into life so long ago – but only if you take the time to stop and feel and listen. Each individual stone tells a story, as does each crack and crevice that runs between and through them. I got to know some of them. I let the landscape soak into me and I came to a vivid awareness that where we call home can be many places.

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