Experiencing the Atlantic coast of Kerry in South West Ireland for the first time over ten years ago I am drawn back there for long periods each year. I found a journal entry from 2011 which ends with the words…Hallelujah for the constancy of the sea, an ever present reminder of nature’s power and abundance. Inviting, intoxicating healing. Nothing can prepare you for the vastness, the emptiness of the ocean stretching out to the horizon and disappearing for an unimaginable distance. Unreachable, unattainable… standing at its edge I feel so insignificant.
My fascination with the sea has been with me since childhood family holidays visiting virtually all the resorts along the southern, south western and south eastern coasts of England. My dad worked in Southampton docks, owned by British Rail, which meant that rail travel for the whole family was free. This was a luxury in the 1950s when hardly anyone had a car. Memories of the sea sparkling in the sun and walking on the warm sand, mingle with grey drizzly days spent in cafes and souvenir shops. We swam, no matter what the weather was like and lived for the golden days when the sea and the air were warm.
When I started having my own children in the 1970s family holidays were in Cornwall, then later in Ireland but always near the sea. I came to love the coast of Kerry in Southern Ireland famous for the storms rolling across the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean as well as the magnificent scenery. In 2011 a present of a journal and a tin of drawing pencils were the catalyst to start me writing and painting… I have rarely stopped since.
Fortunate to rent a house in Waterville for long periods of the year I have discovered a spiritual connection to the place which makes it impossible to stop going back whenever I can. This stunning area of Ireland has inspired me to explore ways to represent the hedgerows, mountains, streams and sea by experimenting with a variety of mediums. I look forward to continuing this journey and seeing where it will take me.