Visioning the Land
Artist in Residence
On the peat bogs of County Tyrone, Northen Irland
Lowry's Diary - Day 5
County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
We have an outdated Endangered Species list for Northern Ireland, about 10 years out of date, and at the last count we have 481 species on the list.
66 species of Moths alone, bees, Curlew, Cuckoo, Otters, Hares plus hundreds more.
This could have doubled in a new list to be published this year. A lot of my recent work has been based on this list. I had a textiles work recently acquired by the University of Ulster Conflict Textiles Archive, this piece was dedicated to the 481 species list. An Irish linen work, I dyed the linen in the bog and stitched it with 481 red lines.
Today I am installing an earthwork made from 481 pieces of unfired red clay, with each piece of clay dedicated to a species on the list. Prior to installing today I sat in my studio with bags of clay, moulding each piece and ticking them off a copy of the list I have printed out.
The red clay will disolve back into the earth if it rains, or can be mulched back into the earth so I have deliberatley chosen a section of the boglands which has been commercially cut for peat. Sadly a large section of the peatland is privatley owned and is being destroyed for home heating or garden peat.
The shape of the piece follows the shape of a sonogram of the call of the Curlew. I followed and listened to the Curlew call over the last 2 years on the peatland and felt I wanted to send a message back to the birds as they fly overhead.
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