About my work






The Palimpsest/ Rianú Project

at The Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham    September - November, 2014
























The Palimpsest/ Rianú Project was curated by Claire Halpin and myself

on behalf of Cló and the Living Archive in the Donegal Gaeltacht.


Watch a short video of the exhibition  here



The Palimpsest/ Rianú Project is a collaborative art project which brought together eight Irish artists to develop work to represent Ireland at Artisterium VI in Tbilisi, Georgia in October 2013. Continuing with this collaboration, the project was then presented in An Gailearaí in Gweedore, Co. Donegal in June 2014 and the final exhibition was shown in the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin from September to November, 2014. The eight participating artists were:  Brian Fay, Mary A.Fitzgerald, Claire Halpin, Eoin Mac Lochlainn, Colin Martin ARHA, Aoife McGarrigle, Kate Murphy and Nuala Ní Fhlathúin.


Each artist was invited to develop an initial image which was then emailed on to the next artist in the group. The second artist responded to it by working over it or manipulating it in some way and then emailed it on to the third artist who also responded to it and passed it on. The process continued until each of the eight artists had worked on each of the eight images. It proved to be a very creative and rewarding experience for the artists involved, each gaining a lot from encountering the varied working methods and creative processes of the other artists.


The idea of the project was to explore how we dealt with the ‘other’ in our lives – other ethnic groups, other nations, other people – so a collaborative project between artists seemed particularly relevant. The Pearse Museum at St Enda’s was chosen as an apt location for the final presentation because of P.H. Pearse’s special interest in bi-lingual education. Each artist also developed an individual artwork responding to the location and to the curatorial themes.


Watch a short video by Claire Halpin showing the works in progress  here




























This diptych entitled: Lon Doire an Chairn / The Blackbird of Derrycairn

was the individual piece I had in the exhibition.


Pearse believed that it was good for his students to grow up with an appreciation of nature and this was one of the reasons why he chose St Enda’s as the location for his school.  He was also very interested in Celtic Mythology. The old Gaelic poem from which I got the title is attributed to Oisín of the Fianna, and it encapsulates many aspects of Pearse’s philosophy of education.


In the poem, Oisín extolls the wonders of nature and compares and contrasts them with the discipline and order of monastic life. He writes that he has never heard a sweeter sound than the song of the Blackbird as it tends its nest and he prefers this sound to the mournful sound of the church bell. The Romantic yearning for the freedom and joy of the natural world is juxtaposed with the new ‘civilising’ culture of the monks.  Now, far be it from me to be taking a stand against my teachers - but you'd have to admit that the song of the blackbird brings joy to the world.





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