Well, you just have to listen to Davy Spillane's music before you answer my question. Here's a short video that I created of my recent solo exhibition in Áras Éanna on Inishere (Inis Oírr), the smallest of the Aran Islands. I used a wonderfully evocative piece of music called: Dreaming of the Bones by Spillane as the soundtrack. I was in school with him, many, many years ago.
A poem by Cathal Ó Searcaigh entitled: "Na Bailte Bánaithe" was the inspiration for this body of work, a poem about how spirits haunt the land, long after the people who lived there have gone. I spent some time in the Donegal Gaeltacht a few years ago, exploring the old abandoned houses that were mentioned in the poem. And I began a series of paintings of empty fireplaces, a yearning perhaps, to make contact with those long gone from the place. There are two rooms and two series of paintings in this exhibition. The second series is of empty skies – symbolising the possibilities and promise of a new life.
Mar a dúirt mé, b'é dán leis an bhfile Cathal Ó Searcaigh a bhí mar spreagadh don saothar ealaíne seo, dán dár teideal: “Na Bailte Bánaithe”. Dán í seo a léiríonn cé mar a mhaireann spiorad daoine i gcuimhne áite fiú má tá said imithe ar shlí na fírinne. Chaith mé tréimhse cónaithe i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill cúpla bliain ó shin agus thosnaigh mé ag cuartú na seantithe tréigthe a bhí luaite sa dán, ag iarraidh sórt eicint teagmháil a dhéanamh leo b'fhéidir, leo siúd - i mbéal an uaignis - mar a deir an dán. Is machnamh ar an imirce is mó a bhí i gceist agam, ceapaim.
Anyway, that exhibition continues until the end of June so, if you happen to be on the West Coast of Ireland, why not take a trip out to the Aran Islands for a look. A boat leaves Ros a' Mhíl every morning at 10.30am and returns at about 5.45 in the afternoon. There's a also boats going from Doolin in Co. Clare every day. Finally, don't forget to send me your comments, I'm always interested in hearing your views.
You can see more of my art works at http://emacl.com/