Visioning the Land
Artist in Residence
On the peat bogs of County Tyrone, Northen Irland
Lowry's Diary - Day 7
County Tyrone, Northern Ireland
This art installation pays tribute to the plants, the cures and the healers of the past.
Today, the majority of people choose conventional medicine, whose scientific record in curing disease and prolonging lives is proven. However, in the past many families had specific cures for ailments that were passed down through the generations. This could be a cure for anything from spots to sprains. Many people still get a pot of ointment for the treatment of an ailment, received from ‘someone who knows someone’. The knowledge of each cure is specific to a person within the family and passed down through the generations.
The tragedy is that so much of this information is obliterated with death as the knowledge is never passed outside a family. And yet, there is a growing body of evidence that old cures can be genuinely beneficial in human healing.
For the past year I have been researching old Irish Folk Medicine, a lot of which comes from the boglands. I had no idea of the many uses for sphagnum moss – including being used as bandages and nappies for it’s amazing ability to hold liquid!
I wish I’d known that boiled honeysuckle got rid of freckles when I was a teenager.
Lots of the old cures and natural medicines hold the history of modern medicines. The bark of the Willow tree, which I have included in one of my mason jars in this installation, if chewed, can help heal tooth aches and pain. Turns out that the compound from Willow is used in aspirin tablets.
It’s fascinating – but don’t try any of these cures at home!
I’m not a Doctor, just an Artist.
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