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The world is full of magic things patiently waiting
For our senses to grow sharper.
     W B Yeats


I look at Land and the lived experience of being in a place. Within this notion there is a recognition, that both land and place are woven together as an interrelated experience.

The land we tread within the present, also has a past, that encapsulates an awareness of memory, history and identity. As a child, the experience of such things was often felt within the magical landscape of the West of Ireland. There, earth and sky seemed to merge in a continual symbiosis of unending wonder. Within the present, those childhood summers evoke not only feelings of nostalgia and memory, but an identity of one's own heritage. While born in England, being half Irish with a mother from County Mayo, those summers in Ireland were full of yarns and tales from relatives in Dublin or Mayo. Equally, there were those who emigrated to America, who came to visit in England with stories to tell of both past and present. Therefore land and the lived experience of place also determines a narrative that is continually present and worked through in my paintings.

Between 2019, and early 2020, a trip was being planned to Donegal, then onwards to re-trace time spent in Westport and from there to the Renvyle Peninsula on the Connemara Loop. Finally time would be spent in Galway, then Dublin before returning home. The Pandemic disrupted any travel plans, but evoked journeys made via my own memories. The paintings made between 2020-2021 reflect not only a journey cancelled, but are meditations on former journeys re-imagined within the present. The cultural elements within both aspects of the lived experience of past and present situations, also found themselves aligned with negotiating such thoughts within a universally felt Pandemic.

The paintings from 2020-2021 concentrate on the meditative qualities of the lived experience of land and place, They share, via collective memory, notions of cultural heritage that is reflected within titles, such as "Galway Street Sound", and "lightness and Being on the Renvyle Peninsula". There is a narrative inherent in the work, that supports itself within the heritage that exists between land and place and the interrelated experience that exists between the two.

Copyright Mary Eighteen 2023.
Website by, Photography by Lucy Badham (07973-629297)