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rust & stone

blood bone rust & stone is a response to several happenings. On one hand, the body of work is a farewell and thank you to the Wild West Cork landscape. While on the other it is a chat with The Cailleach, the Hag of Beara a story which appears, not only on the Beara Peninsula, but across Ireland, Scotland and Northern Spain, belonging to a larger group of stories of the wise-women, the wisdom holders.

Using this archetype, I also wanted to consider the threshold between life stages. My own in particular, as I move through perimenopause and a lifelong fuzzy warm feeling for the Old Hag feels more timely than ever.

If this full body of work is laid out, like a jigsaw, three continuous ‘Xs’ become apparent. They are formed of votive charcoal, which is charred natural materials, chosen for their potency and symbolism. Here consisting of charred peat and holly bush from the hags head stone and snail shells, boasting their perfect logarithmic spirals, and nodding toward their use as personal ornamentation devices from pre-history grave finds.


Geometric drawings are interwoven as the third element. Coming from a school text book,  which my father wrote in the 1970’s, the beauty of the forms attracts me along with the drawings being a device to introduce language to the work. These red lines are made with rust and yellow ochre/ iron oxide from Dingle heat treated to red. Taking the working title of each geometric problem and solution posed by the school book, the titles for each individual piece appeared. Throughout, where the word ‘circle’ appeared, it was replaced with ‘hag’. Where ‘passes through two given points’ is cited, it became ‘inhale and exhale’, ‘creation/destruction’, ‘autumn/spring’ etc..

Mark Making | blood bone rust & stone

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