Posts Tagged ‘walking’
The night before last, I was told to “go and make some art” by James, my husband. It is great to have such encouragement to do the things I really want to do but often don’t do on my own. I have been thinking about the land art project we are doing along the walking routes in the Burren and North Clare, so I went over to the turf basket and started playing around with bits of turf! (one of the walks is on a bog road) First I created this peace sign inspired by James. I have been reading the children “The Little Prince”. I really love the book, it influenced the little stars which I cut out of banana skins.
Banana skin stars on turf in the Secret Gallery between Doolin and The Cliffs of Moher.
Some of the reasons that I put little yellow stars on turf may be because:
I have been reading “The Little Prince”.
The following day we had a conversation with our friend, she was talking about it being the time of stars, as they have more effect on us, maybe because we see the stars more as it gets dark earlier. It is also the time of year that there are more shooting stars.
Stars are very big compared to pieces of turf yet they are similar; the turf is a tiny nugget of the earth which is a planet too.
I remember night time bog walks as a child looking up at the stars.
Apparently there may be some moon dust on the earth after they crash into the moon. I hope it does not upset things too much on the moon or for us as a consequence of us interfering with the mighty Moon.
Maybe because it was playful, and I liked the contrast of the smooth banana skins and the rough turf. Who knows!
Peace to all
Yesterday, I handed in a proposal for a collaborative exhibition and site specific art works, so fingers crossed, some time next year when the heather is in bloom there will be Art works in all sorts of wild and wonderful places. Myself and my husband James Slevin, are going to be working on it together so I am very excited! We will be fusing organic with technology! I am really looking forward to working with James on it, I think that it is going to be really interesting to see what we make. Making a deadline on time is always a great feeling. Though I was like a angry rat yesterday trying to get it done! I am not sure when we will hear back but the best remedy for that is to apply for another exhibition straight away so I am not focusing all my attention and hopes on it.
Today, I went on one of the natural walking routes that we are planning to make some art on. I often go horse riding there as it is the only place near by that I can ride off the road. It is a bog road, it is really beautiful and so removed from the road a couple of kilometres away. I took some photographs and got some inspiration, I brought back some natural materials to work with including heather, bog oak, red grass and turf.
The photographs were taken with an old film camera, which is a lovely change from using digital, but sorry no images for now. I took some photographs of the stacks of turf. This year I spent a very short time stacking turf with a friend and it was such lovely satisfying feeling. I also make two hay cocks myself with hay I hand turned, this was really enjoyable for me. Now I go around with a scissors and cut roadside grass for Maya the horse. I guess I am a country girl!
We are saddened by the lack of off road walks for people walking and riding horses, so we want to try to do something to get more trails made. Even The Burren Way goes quite a distance on the road, this is sad when the landscape is so beautiful and the roads are so dangerous.
Photograph taken on the Burren Way February 2009
I love being somewhere in nature where I turn a full circle and don’t see a house. This photograph was taken during one of these times, I had a few of these moments along the Burren way. A couple of weeks ago I walked the Burren way from our house to Ballyvaughan and back again, it took three days and each day I walked 20kms or slightly more, I never like to say I have walked less then I actually have!
I slept in a tent for the two nights, the first night when I set up camp in a field with a bull and family and had to move just as it was starting to get dark! I found another place to camp, I think it might have been a fairy ring, it was full of cow poo but I found an area just big enough for the tent in between them!
This photograph was taken after a very steep climb from the road out of Ballyvaughan. A dog decided to be my guide, a bit like the self employed guides in Marrakech who pretend they are not guiding you but keep turning up casually as if you both just happened to be going the same way!
The Burren Way is a wonderful walk apart from the bits on the busier roads, and the fact that you have to buy expensive bottled water. Apart from there being a lovely water fountain in Ballyvaughan I could not find any where else to get water. This was one of the great things about the Camino de Santiago, there are “fuentes” (fountains) every 2 or 3 hours walk apart, so you don’t have to carry much water. If only the Burren way took a month to walk too!
Sitting in the rain
Oil on canvas December 2008
Changing a baby in a field
Oil on canvas September 2008
Both of these small paintings relate to my own life, the first of pre-motherhood and the latter since having children. They are both partly to do with living more outside, travelling without a fixed home and travellers. I like to put unlikely scenarios into my work. Crossing time-lines and continents, I am drawn to taking some aspects of the past, such as how the woman is dressed and adding contemporary elements such as the traffic cones. To me it is important to be playful; I have to remind myself not to take my self so seriously! I like these lighthearted moments in life. As in the top painting sitting happily in the rain, this painting was from a memory of mine while James and I were walking the Camino de Santiago and then on to in the south Spain, we stopped for a rest , it was pouring rain and even the mat I sat on was covered in water, it was a very happy memory though! For 4 months I, and longer James, lived outside rarely sleeping indoors, either sleeping in a tent or even just in a sleeping bag on the ground, or even a band-stand! washing outside, eating outside, it felt great but now I am very grateful for having a house!
Walking on rocks the sea covers.
Watching words in the sea
being covered and uncovered by sand.
Wind blown drip drawing
indigo and gold.
For a moment the sea looks white like a milk pond.
Two crows on sea warn grey rocks.
Do the boat like vessels still drip indigo tonight?
Where is the dolphin sleeping tonight?
Is there shelter beneath the great tall cliffs?
Swell of wind blown grasses and sweet flowers.
Sea and rain hollowed rocks hold little pools of sea water.
The stony beach looks different today, hills of rock.
Returning home, stepping on sun-warmed rocks.
Rock pools like rivers.
A trail in the sand of an unknown bird.
Four years ago in a small town called Negreira about 20 kms west on Santiago de Compostella, Spain, I first met James. I had been living on the simplest of food; no cooking just lots of tinned sardines, with the variation of sardines in oil one day and tomato sauce another, sometimes interspersed with tinned mussels or squid, Manchego cheese, olives out of a plastic sachet, the occasional tomato and a lot of bread! Yes I did have one or two of the famous Bocadillos con tortilla de patatas, which translates to a roll with potato omelet, these came in varying degrees of dryness and hardness, but if you were lucky could be delicious!
My first sniff that James was an extraordinary artist of food, in the best possible way, was when out of his three wheeled baby buggy which contained his life since he began walking from London, he produced a great salad! James had a pretty extensive range of herb in there! We still ate olives and tomatoes but they tasted amazing, I don’t know if it was just a little seasoning and oregano, but I just knew it was different! That night we made a fire and James made some bread, which we devoured with garlic butter and roasted freshly picked corn on the cobs! Ever since those days while we were walking, every time James cooks it is something different; never ask him for the recipe or how he made it because he wont know! his food is like eating originals no mass reproductions here!
One of the lovely and delicious memories I have of are time walking to the south of Spain was when we were walking through Portugal and stopped in a bus shelter for a rest while it was raining, and James made the most amazing Pumpkin soup! I did something in my sketch book and suddenly there was a soup brewing, cream, onion, garlic, cumin and I am sure a few other magic ingredients were added. I would like to confess to taking the pumpkin from some farmers field, sorry, but thank you for the pumpkin, who ever you are! I would also like to say thank you to the lovely man who brought us into his garden, sat us down and gave us figs and home made bread! Possible the same man, thinking we were very hungry! Along with cooking in nature and bus shelters we frequented Band Stands to dine in and sleep in too! We ate in the band stand in Merida and a few others along the way!