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Showing posts from October, 2011

The Power of Limits and the Walls of Aran

I'm aiming to hold onto the feeling of Ireland for a while yet.  Not so easy though since my re-entry into life hasn't exactly started. I've just recently returned from Edmonton, where my show,Memories of Home, opened on Saturday, Oct. 15th at the Agnes Bugera Gallery. Being in Edmonton, where I lived until I was 17, many memories of growing up under the big open sky of the Prairies came back to me.

In this suspended state between returning home from Ireland and opening my show in Edmonton, my thoughts keep returning to the stone walls on the island of Inish Mann.  Perhaps it is because I was born in the Prairies that I felt so claustrophobic there, hemmed in by legions of stone walls.  There I was, on the middle island of the Aran Islands, that is whipped by constant winds which blow up tumultuous, ever-changing clouds, and surrounded by a grey sea that is often covered by white frothy-capped waves.  A wild, open environment.  But there was not an inch of the island that…

Ireland-Sean Scully

Sean Scully Exhibition Cut Ground
Kerlin Gallery Dublin

On my last day in Ireland, October 6th, my friend Mary and I went to see Sean Scully's show at Kerlin Gallery, in Dublin.  It was just opening that day and I was hoping to see it before I left Ireland.

I spent some time in the gallery and just as I decided to leave, to my surprise and delight, there was Sean Scully coming up the stairs.  He was to be interviewed for Irish television by the Irish painter, Sinead Ni Mhaonaigh.  Scully is a very tall and imposing figure, balding, with a fringe of short grey hair and a stubbily grey beard, looking every bit his sixty-six years until he begins to speak.  Then his entire demeanour changes and a fire comes into his eyes.

I was really privileged to be able to listen to the entire interview as I stood in the gallery.  Scully and Sinead roamed around the enormous white space as the videographer moved the huge rolling camera in and out and around the conversation.  Scully discussed his tho…

Final Days at Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland

The last few days at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre were spent photographing around the lake (Annaghmakerrig), the buildings and the grounds, as though trying to gobble it up to hold in my memory. It was a stimulating, hard-working time for me.  I completed five multi-panel paintings of various sizes while I was at the residency.  My colours really changed for this period of time.  They became very muted, reflecting the greys of the stones at the neolithic sites, and the overcast skies and soft tones of the landscape. I'm already looking forward to another residency in Ireland next September.

The best part of the residency was the intensely stimulating, creative contact with other artists: writers, musicians, poets, playwrights and visual artists.  Many gave spontaneous 'sessions' in the evenings where they improvised with other musicians, singers, poets or tap dancers.  What a huge gift!  Many gave away their books of prose, poetry or musical CD's.   It was also a huge de…