Walking in the footsteps of those gone before me.
My art is constantly inspired by the Ring Of Gullion AONB and the beautiful hills of South Armagh.
To live here on the gentle slopes of Gullion is an honour bestowed upon me by my ancestors. This is something I could never dismiss or be blasé about. Each time I stand outside watching the crows dance and feel the force of the wind upon my face as the light grows dim, knowing that generations of my people have done the same and felt the same rush of love for this place is a profoundly grounding experience.
Each day here is different, the light as it moves from east to west casting a differing hue upon the granite and heather, revealing a new contour with every shifting shadow. On a clear day our horizon is endless, easily we can see Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath but with a short climb we can see Down, Antrim, Scotland and the Wicklow hills. No matter how fast my day has been, I am forced to slow down driving over the long narrow lane that leads to our door, forced to slow and take stock. When the cloud comes down over the mountain like a blanket and the view is reduced to three feet, I am open to less distraction, I wander less and become cocooned, tucked in, not quashed.
Everyday on this mountain is a gift, bringing a new revelation, watching the valley wakeup, bringing new music in her birdsong and trickling stream. Her energy seeps through the turf and into your soul and it is inescapable. Once you breathe in Gullion, you will never forget her, you will always want to return.
My first lessons about Gullion came from my mother and her love for this land, I know I have already instilled the same pride and appreciation in my own children and that they will carry on the same traditions like the generations gone before, they will constantly bear witness to this special place and feel this innate connection.
So with the visual gifts and lessons she bestows, we are constantly inspired, our senses set ablaze. Little imaginations have the space to fly free. We gather, we ramble, we chat, we dream, we create. To capture even a glimpse of this beauty in my art is what I strive to do.
Ring Of Gullion AONB
The geology of the Ring Of Gullion sets us as a place apart, rich and rare, we are a distinct people, with tradition and heritage deeply imbued in our souls, our language, our music, our art. We were bombarded by famine and occupation yet we held strong, we survived, now we thrive; our culture is now as rich and resplendent as our landscape.
At a time of great personal upheaval and loss a wise neighbour told me ” We are Gullion women, we come from granite, we are tough and we will endure.” Nothing is truer, we are united, we stand together when we need to, like Cu Chulainn and his Fianna we unite in the splendour of these hills and we overcome.
And so I am beguiled by her, in her clutches forever; I am drawn to create, driven to translate the beauty around me. It is something innate, a primal urge deep within that stirs my soul in this special place. I create to give back, to give thanks and bear witness.
If you have never visited, put it on your bucket list, you will not be dissapointed nor will you be untouched by the magic. If it has been a while, come back and see us, a warm welcome and wonderful guides await you.