My installation ‘Mi Camino a travé del Arte’ is an ‘art experience’ where the viewer is invited to walk through the art pieces, each representing a pivotal issue or barrier on my journey of change. The title is inspired by the current popular trend to ‘do the Camino’ referring usually to the Camino de Santiago. A Pilgrim Camino, or Journey is one of self discovery, unravelling, reflection, meditation and ultimately greater awareness. My Camino began much closer to home, not with a good pair of walking shoes but by unpicking a few stitches, tying the yarn to a nail and walking on in blind faith…
The use of rushes, flax and other natural or recycled materials in my work, draws heavily on our heritage and makes ‘Mi Camino’ a very fitting installation during the Brigid of Faughart Festival. Like Brigid, I set out on a journey, guided only by curiosity and intuition, I walked on in blind faith and trusted. The theme of this years festival is ‘Brigid – muse to the cultural creative’, and I am an artist who’s creativity is fed by my Irish culture. Of course, St. Brigid is synonymous with rushes and like her I use them to give visual expression to concepts, labels and emotions that cannot easily be explained. Through my research into flax I discovered how important the rushes were for tying up the bundles of flax. The rushes were joined together using a rush knot (like a reef knot) to form a rush band. Hence, the Rush Knot is my logo and Rush – Not is my moto!
Although some of my work is labour intensive and repetitive, for me it is always meditative. It is the process and not the end that is important. My message is simple ‘slow down’. Stay curious, buy only what you absolutely need and find joy in the handmade.
‘Rush not through life – so easy to dismiss what has gone, so eager to reach a destination that might not exist but rest awhile to enjoy what is being presented to you, for you to experience in your own unique and special way’.
Happy Lá Feile Bhríde
Sampler on recycled linen embroidered with rushes
Carbon Footprint: Felted flax boot with multihead stitch
‘Mi Camino a travé del Arte’ installation is currently on view at the Oriel Centre Dundalk Gaol until Friday 2 February 2018