After spending time in the sacred sites of Loughcrew, and Newgrange, I have been wondering about the meaning of the carvings on the stones. Were they a language of some sort, telling about the purpose of the cairns, did they track the entrance of the sun into the chambers, were they simply a kind of decoration?
When I came into my cottage here at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, I found some words scratched onto a heart-shaped slate that a previous tenant had left behind. Lovely that the word is Brave. The word 'courage' comes from coeur, French for heart. Be Brave. What a wonderful motto to begin my residency here. And now I'm in the final few days of the residency and so I'm looking at my work and hoping that I have been brave.
In response to the Be Brave carving, I found a Yeats quote about courage. I did a small installation piece down by the lake, carving the quote onto some small slates that I found by the boathouse. It reads: "Why should we honour those that die upon the field of battle? A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself".
Here are a few of the pieces I've created in Studio 2.
At home I use cold wax medium and oil paint, but for ease of transportation, I brought along acrylics and heavy body gel medium. I brought 11x 14" multimedia artboard panels to paint on, giving myself the challenge of working in a new medium on a new medium! The panels are made of paper that is coated with resin. They need no priming or sealing. I normally work in a fairly large format at home and found the 11 x 14 " size a bit constraining. So I made them into multi-panel pieces.
I'm working with the idea of the language of the stones.