Visioning the Land

Artist in Residence
On the peat bogs of  County Tyrone, Northen Irland
Lowry's Diary - Day 10


County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Drinking with the pixies.


Long before I started the art trail I researched the various lichens and plants living on the bog. The names alone were inspiring. Based on the lichen called False Pixie Cup which is all over the bog, I am pushing chartreuse yellow cups into the soft peat bog. These tiny lichens are known as pixie cups or in this part of the world as Leprechaun cups. 


Leprechauns are mythical little men in green suits with hats and beards. There are no female Leprechauns! and it is believed that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold that he has hidden deep in the Irish countryside. The story goes that he must give his treasure away to anyone who captures him. I’m keeping my eye out for any little green men who appear today. I’m even prepared to split the pot of gold with him.


I’ve moved over to a large scalded area on the peatlands today. By scalded I mean burnt. The so –called ‘burning season’ begins in October and is a method of burning away old heather to bring up new shoots for the Grouse to eat, and then be shot by hunters. This has been going on for over 150 years now and is crushing and killing other wildlife and these thousand year old blanket bogs. I have been working on a wreath for the burnt areas of the bog. Gathering moss and dyeing it to various shades or rust in tribute to Rusty Bog Moss. I have also been soaking old nails in vinegar to create real rust and using this on the wreath.


Unfortunately there’s no shortage of burnt areas to place the wreath.

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