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Today I arrived in with an armload of sticks. I set to work removing the stakes and replacing them with the more organic shapes of the sticks. Ben was definitely right about the stakes, there was even a mention of dracula which made me laugh.

I was away visiting a friend at the weekend and met her wonderful friends. We were all invited back to one house and I noticed that there was a small area on the kitchen table given over to a sacred space and it was through this that we chatted about my work. At the mention of a sacred space she set about making a CD for me on the same theme.

I have just spent the morning listening to this while starting to make the tall tree like forms from clay.

Every morning I like to take our dog for a walk in the wood. Last monday I woke up to a snow covered landscape and couldnt wait to get out for a walk. I brought my camera with me and took some photos of the snow in the wood. I was thinking about how I love walking in the morning when it is so peaceful and quiet and I was also thinking about ceramics. An idea, a drawing, a feeling revealed itself to me and when I got into the studio I immedaitely started drawing with charcoal.

This was the starting point for me and I continued to make more drawings this time using watercolours.

Mary Butler saw the drawings and I spoke to her about the ceramic installation I want to make. She was really helpful and offered me lots of advice on making a mock up to get the feel for the scale of the ceramic installation.

making a tea bowl

Today I decided to use the potters wheel. Last week I brought it into the studio and it had remained idle for a few days. I threw some tea bowls all different shapes and sizes and I forgot how like meditation it can be. I have to focus on the clay and what is happening on the wheel.

Patrick O Connor came in today and made two tea bowls. Patrick was an Artist in residence in the same space a while back.

I am really enjoying watching the seeds grow on the peat forms and the way they lean towards the natural light. I want to use the whole space not just the floor so I started to think about other sacred spaces. The forest and woodlands are special places and for me there is a sense of awe at the beauty of them. I took some photos of the woods near my house early on Monday morning when the snow had fallen and I used these as a source of inspiration for drawing.

The mustard and cress seeds are growing.

These tree like forms will be hand built and raku fired.

I also had my first impromptu visit from a group of special needs people and they wanted to watch me throw a tea bowl( which i did). Some really enjoyed asking questions and were very inquistive. I enjoyed their brief visit.

daffodil gardendaffodils in buckets

The mustard seeds are growing. Its amazing as I thought the seeds needed more light. Peolpe still mistake the peat,sand and stones piece for a rug. It’s quite funny when they realise that it not.

Yesterday I rang a few florists in Kilkenny and managed to get ten pieces of oasis. I decided to try to keep the daffodils alive for as long as I could as so many peole have commented on the smell of the flowers. In creating a space for contemplation smell is an important element.

While I was arranging the daffodils in groups according to colour and placing them into the oasis, alot of people stopped to look at the flowers. I have often noticed that people tend to walk past the window without glancing in but yesterday was different. I think people are surprised to see so many daffodils as their season is nearly finished. It took quite awhile to arrange the daffodils. At first I thought that I would place the daffodils on the same level and create a flat surface. Then I glanced at my research on the Hill Of Tara and other sacred spaces such as newgrange and reconsidered the arrangement.

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Art at No. 76

The aim and focus of the Art Residency at No. 76 is to enable the successful applicant to research and develop their practice. Other aims of the residency are to: give insights into how and why artists create their work, build relationships and further promote the Arts, provide an awareness and further appreciation of the Arts, cultivate and develop new audiences. The Kilkenny Arts Office is part of ArtLinks.ie

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