I am very lucky to have landed here in the world, with mountains and sea close up against my doors and windows. The mountains, in particular, are a compelling presence – making me want to climb them in all weathers, seasons and times of day. The ridge I can see from my kitchen includes Slieve Foye, Barnavave, Raven’s Rock, Fox’s Rock. Its an easy 40 minute trot up to the saddle, the flat dip to the right of Slieve Foye in the picture. From there you get such a good view for not much effort – a view over Carlingford Lough to the Mournes, way over to Slieve Gullion, even Leitrim sometimes, in the West, and on clear days all the way down the coast to Howth in the South.
At times I’ve tried to work out the essence of the attraction, to distill the human relationship with the mountain into a piece of artwork. Now I’m going to take a more systematic approach to that effort, by doing a series of walks up the mountain as research, making drawings, photos and mapping ideas. Taking a route and just noticing where attention goes and how each experience is both unique and the same. At the same time, researching the geology, history, myth.
I want to make some work that expresses a relationship with this environment. I’d like to initiate conversations about the imaginative possibilities of the spaces and places in this rural landscape. How can we make and imagine reframing everyday experience of it? To embody our relationship to the bit of earth we stand on?
Walks will be publicized on social media and my website, documented in this blog and on social media, so bumping into me on the road and online comments and discussion are very welcome.
Many thanks to the Arts Council Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon for the Agility Award which made this project possible.