It has been my intention before now to write about my trip to Ireland but having taken twelve days out away from work, a sizable backlog was waiting for me on my return.
So I am starting now to write about the collaboration from my perspective showing some of the many pictures taken by me and others who have given kind permission for them to be used. The pictures have been credited where necessary with the copyright remaining that of the photographer named.
My first contact with Terry Martin the curator of the collaboration was at the 2011 AAW Symposium in, St Paul, Minnesota, USA. Terry is a well known wood artist, author, curator and traveller. and after this initial meeting together with many other people at Minnesota I did not have contact with Terry until late last year when I received an email from him inviting me to take part in a wood art collaboration as part of the Carlow arts festival, Ireland.
It has to be said that it did not take me long to accept the invitation as the chance to travel and more importantly collaborate with other makers is something I had previously enjoyed several years earlier at the SW Collaboration Australia and was at this event that I found collaborating to be infectious and a wonderful experience.
The Carlow collaboration was to take the form of constructing a wall made from wood 'An interpretation on the theme of an Irish Dry stone wall'. The best way for you to get a true flavour of the event is to watch the previous video link posted. It is futile of me to try to explain the impact of the event when it is so better explained through the video.
The event was to take place from the 29th of May - the 8th of June after which I was invited to The Ulster Chapter, of the Irish Woodturning Association symposium at the Woodshed Templepatrick, Northern Ireland to demonstrate.
On arriving in Ireland via a ferry crossing to Rosslare from Fishguard I had an hour drive to the cottages at Borris House cottages where I an several others involved would be staying. Once settled in, it was off to the home and workshop of Glenn Lucas and Cornelia McCarthy where the collaboration was to take place.
It was not difficult to find Glenn and Cornelia's as it is well sign posted.
A great deal of work had already been carried out by Glenn and Cornelia to get the workshops and an extra marque ready for us to work in.
Everyone arrived and got to know each other prior to our first evening meal. Here Terry and Glenn started off the week with a discussion about the project ahead, health and safety etc and to answer any questions we had.
Then it was off to our accommodation with a trip the following day arrange for a field trip to learn about the local dry stone walls, landscape, history, flora and fauna. But before this we had a chance to check out the local village of Borris, a few pictures taken are shown below.
The village of Borris where the cars can be fuelled at these petrol pumps located right on the pavement.
Borris house where the cottages we stayed are located.
Then it was off to the field trip. A beautiful views to be had for us to get into the spirit of the task ahead. For me when making it is important to understand fully about the subject matter and this requires a far deeper knowledge than just searching google.
Local historian, explaining about stones that had laid face down for thousands of years until they were discovered by a farmer who on turning them over discovered the ancient Celtic Stone art on the underside, what a find. !
Ancestral Farm home of Glenn Lucas. The home being on two levels, the lower level being where the livestock would be kept in the winter with the body heat going up into the upper floor to warm the occupants.
A beautiful country indeed.
The remains of a frog skeleton found in the remains of the building by one of the group. This was later used as a source of reference for a skull carving included in the wall project.
I couldn't help taking a few close up pics for texture reference.
Some pictures of the group taken by Harry Reid, Wood Turner and Photographer as well as other pics.
Jacques Vesery (USA) discussing the found frog skeleton with others.
A few more taken by me.
Neil Turner (Aus) & Christian Delhon (Fra), taking in the view.
Always on the look out for reference for future work.
Then it was off into Carlow to visit 'Visual', Centre for Contemporary Art & the
George Bernard Shaw Theatre.
This being the gallery space the wall was to be located.
Art Liestman (Can), Master carver Xiang Dong Wang (China) together with his wife and a local interpreter.
Cinematographers of the IWCS
The interior of the gallery section the wall was to be located.
A large horse sculpture made from Scaffolding poles located in another room being readied for the opening.
After it was back for an early night for the following day and start of 'The Wall'
Update to follow.