Baraghy 10th October

Baraghy 10th October

I arrived at Baraghy on Friday.

Little House on the Baraghy

The cabin became the anchor point in the centre of this new space. So I walked a circular path from and around the cabin. We walked together as a group of three, two doubled back yet I felt compelled to complete the physical circle and risk the cow poo/muddy boots. We saw a double rainbow over Baraghy Lake.

I was silent in my observations but felt most drawn to the top field. Baraghy ás Gaelige is Barrachaidh, meaning top field. The land there was different to the other fields. Tilted up towards me as if balanced on an easel. There were circles of varying sizes echoed through the field. A small depression semi circular in the right portion, off center from three bushes in a triangular position. Vein like rivulets, the natural course of water returning to the lake.

In my Provocations research with Elena I came across this painting by Patrick Collins called Angelus. The Angelus is a sound that punctuates life in Ireland. Bells at 12md and 6pm. It rings in sets of three, over the radio and from the church tower. Patrick Collins paints what he has heard (reminding me of my ‘what sound looks like drawing’ in Craobh Rua). The forms and the field were related somehow.

Recording of the Angelus Bells

I had limited materials with me so I set a shower curtain up on the bonnet of my car and attached a sheet of paper. It had been rolled up so the sheet was rumpled. Initially I was cross about this but accepted that the paper was more like the field being rumpled. I thought about how excited I was to map the shapes, all the circles in dialogue and corresponding to each other. As if by the act of drawing them I would understand them more. Ring forts, Barrows, Burnt Mounds scar the landscape, traces of a different past. Ring forts were homes. Barrows were tumulus graves. Burnt Mounds were places for heating water (cooking, dying, tanning, healing). Thinking of the burnt mount I chose charcoal. A fellow artist gave me a gift of charcoal that he made, I used it.

I stopped working on the sketch and had soup. I felt I didn’t want it to too look too finished. Let it breathe, let it tell me what’s next. Does Jo describes this as something vying for your attention. I also brought some bark and glue. The bark was a gift from my friend Linda. It peels apart into layers. I made this.

I had a conversation about the field with the cabin owner (and farmer) Barry. He told me that since drone technology is more accessible they have seen their fields and land in a different way. They can read the field. If it needs drainage, fertilizer, if it contains something else. They keep the historical finds quiet, they don’t want the intrusion on their land (very post colonial) and their agency to farm interrupted. Images from drone archeology have uncovered wonderful finds in the last two summers. I thinking of the henge discovered near Newgrange. (Things to take away, look at further…..a topic for another post perhaps).

Back in the studio I place the work about me and sit in it, I reflect on what I worked on and consider it away from the alternative space of Baraghy and of action. This was an occasion where I worked alone (no cohort via the screen/no audience) and I participated with the land. I disrupted my ‘plans’ using found materials given to me by others. I treated the field like a visual puzzle, looking for connections inside and outside my practice. I had time to engage with memory, of fresh conversation with Elena around our provocations and how it echoed while I studied the field. I feel I am still learning from it.

I love the image of the two women above painting the cart I found in the archive, is it taken in the same space that I took a photo of? The same space where I painted the field. Gates across the lake? The rhythm of history is indeed a cyclical thing.


Field Names: [Accessed 12th October 2020]

Angelus Bells: [Accessed 7th October 2020]

Archive of Field Name Notes: [Accessed 12th October 2020]

Nelson & Shiff (2003) Critical Terms for Art History. Chicago, London. The University of Chicago Press.

Patrick Collins – talking about titling and painting the ‘Celtic Monster’