Sketchbooks from thr Burren and Aran Islands
In April 1996 I set out on an adventure. I left my native Scotlandin a converted Ford Transit ambulance and soon afterwards found myself in Doolin, Co. Clare, in the West of Ireland. It was to be the first leg of a journey. Fourteen years and two children later I am still living nearby.
Not long after my arrival here, I set about exploring the extraordinary landscape around me. I travelled by road and by foot into the Burren and out to the Aran Islands, often seeking out places with a link to a local story, or that looked odd on the map, or that somebody had told me about.
The sketchbooks that I brought with me are a record of something I have only identified in hindsight: the process of acquainting myself with my new home.
An Artists Book.
Bizarre and beautiful stories abound about the Atlantic ocean.
Medieval writers tell us that St. Brendan the Navgator sailed out in a curragh with 14 monks to find the Promised Land of the Saints; the Voyage of Maeldune tells of a man who encountered many of the same strange islands as Brendan on his voyage to avenge his father’s death. There are many accounts of Hy Brasil, an Island to the west of Ireland which was actually plotted on maps up until the 17th century…
Journeys of the imagination, the imagining of journeys, allegory, fantasy, navigational information or religious instruction: these tales may be any of these things. Not quite understanding them is part of their intrigue.
And The Unwitches
A Children’s Book.
The three sisters who live in a house in the wood may not really be witches, as the villagers suspect; but there really is magic in the little sapling springing up in their garden…
NO PLACE LIKE HOME:
Four Pages From My Diary