Month: April, 2016

A Place For A Quiet Conversation

Glittery Embrace was a temporary ‘loitering platform’ built in Callan, Co.Kilkenny.

Faced with a lack of alternatives teenagers are often drawn to overlooked, overgrown and forgotten spaces to find a territory that they can claim as their own. In Callan we noticed that the town’s teenagers had a pattern of collecting at the river side site of a small sewage pumping station.  In the lethargic days of summer, in a place where others rarely looked, the teenagers had found somewhere that was at once a refuge and a watchtower.

Over three days, in August 2010, we set about temporarily re-imagining this overlooked sewage pumping station as a picturesque viewing point. The platform was constructed in situ on a budget of €1,000 by Callan based carpenter Paddy Phelan and with the kind assistance of James Kennedy, Dominic Lavelle and Nicky Rackard.

Tied back into the existing concrete pumping station the charred timber platform gently expands out over the river.  During its temporary life Glittery Embrace was well used by the town’s young people – a gathering place before nights out, a hurling practice ground, a place to eat chips, to dangle your feet over the river, a place for a quiet conversation. The platform glowed from within at night, turning necessary utility (a sewage pump house) into a place for encounters.

Situated at the end of Callan’s oldest medieval street (Clodeen Lane) and the lowest crossing point of the river the platform proposed a viewpoint in which teenagers are seen as expert users of public space who often identify valuable potential and possibility. There is much we can learn from the practice of ‘loitering’.

The ‘Glittery Embrace Loitering Platform’ was part of ‘Commonage’. Commonage 2010 was an exhibition in Callan Co.Kilkenny and was co-curated by Jo Anne Butler and Tara Kennedy (Culturstruction) with Rosie Lynch. For more see

This project was funded by the Arts Council.


A Gift From The Gods


Just arrived in the post 🙂

The Revolution of Everyday Life


John Roger’s portrait of mystic Nick Papadimitriou in The London Perambulator inspires a deep sense of place and new ways of looking. The ‘edgelands’ north-west of the city provide Nick with raw material for a poetic. Like an archaeologist, he explores this territory through his body and with this deep localised knowledge talks of one day ‘becoming’ Middlesex.

This film biography was played at Uileann for Slow Art Day last Saturday.


How these walks and intimate relations with flora and fauna can lead to wonderful narratives; and drawings (which may look like scribbles but are full of energy and have an abstraction that gives greater potential for the imagination).


daisy collected

Bellis Perennis



through the trees



a different perspective



caravan walk



house in the dunes



drawing while im walking

The Dream of a Wildflower



To unfold freely

Deep Topography



Awaken and be light,

A new day has arisen with unlimited possibilities

In my garden.

Communicating Without Words

martha graham

Martha Graham

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. . .”

“The body says what words cannot.”

“I believe that dance was the first art. I believe that dance was the first because it’s gesture, it’s communication. That doesn’t mean it’s telling a story.”

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul.”







Swans are waterfowl, closely connected with water, even nesting near the water.

Water is symbolic of: Fluidity, Intuition, Dreaming, Emotions, Creativity.

In this respect, we can intuit the swan’s appearance in our lives as an arrow pointing to our dreamier depths and feelings. Furthermore, we get the sense of balance from swan meaning as it lives harmoniously amongst three of the four Aristotelian elements. Grounding herself on earth, lofting to great heights in the air, and winding through waters with magnificent elegance.

The Celts observed swans and geese in the context of movement, noting them for their transitory nature and pattern of migration.

In dreams, the swan asks us to spread our wings and take flight into our waking dreams.

White swans in dreams are symbolic of cleansing and purifying ourselves and our lives. Black swans indicate deep mysteries within us that are longing to be set free to express themselves creatively – perhaps as Bridgid would have us do, in poetry or music.









Sylvie Guillem performing Bolero






























Alice in Wonderland





A group performance at Uileann last Thursday with Amanda Coogan and others from the BAVA on Sherkin Island. Walking backwards in the space around the art centre, outside and in; with the view behind me reflected in the mirrors, I moved slowly and attentively, looking and noticing more, discovering new ways of seeing, and being.




Photography by Ann Davoren and Cara Uibhroithe.

In ancient folklore mirrors were often used in magical and psychic rituals for scrying – remotely viewing another person or place – and communicating. They could also be used in magical rituals of divination – fortune telling and reading of the future. Described in an ancient Greek text as being performed by lowering a mirror on a thread until its lower edge touched the surface of a basin of water, the person performing the ritual would pray to the appropriate god or goddess before gazing into the reflections created by the combination of water and mirror.

Some ancient cultures believe that mirrors reflected the ‘shadow soul,’ and could show the true nature of the person being reflected.

Mirrors seemed to be portals to another world at times, as one proved to be precisely in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”







Cork-based contemporary dancer and choreographer, Inma Pavon, performing one of Amanda’s manifested works. I see her here as if in a ‘shell-like home’ in her coats, and the coats are like ‘layers’ that she carries and sometimes sheds.




One of Amanda’s many intriguing costumes