Following our Hon Sec’s suggestion for UAC Club Members’ to send us creative pieces which reflect how their lives have been altered during lock-down in Ireland, we have been inundated with submissions. This will be a weekly series in which we post some lock-down memories from our Members.
They have certainly kept our spirits high in these strange times. We hope you like them as much as we do.
Mark Kelly, “Great to see some new work from the member’s, please keep it coming. I’m working away on from reference photos I took awhile back which are handy now.”
New head study for a portrait in oils.
Title: Head of Peter
Medium: Conte Crayon on Paper
Size: 30 X 25cm
Paula Jennings, “This is one of my first Zoom life drawing sketches”
Joe Durkan, Memories
Often, we are asked to remember events we could have no possibility of remembering as they occurred before we were born. We may remember what we read or were told but these memories are very different from actually experiencing events. The same applies to collective memories-we are sometimes asked to remember the Great Famine as if it is somehow embedded in our being from birth. I have always been distrustful of these memories, and of memories from early childhood. However, I had a rude awakening about early childhood memories.
When I was 2 years of age, I broke my leg. We lived a few miles out of Swinford in Lisheenabrone and I was brought to Castlebar Hospital. I spent 6 weeks there, and carried a memory of never seeing my parents except through a porthole in the door of the ward. My mother told me she cycled every day to the hospital, a round trip of 36 miles, and was not allowed into the ward. Since I could visualise her looking through the porthole this was always seen to be a “learned memory”, though for me it was always real. I also carried in my mind the spot where I broke my leg.
We moved to Dublin shortly after I came out of hospital, and while we visited relatives in Mayo many times in my childhood, I never returned to Lisheenabrone until 60-65 years later. On a trip to Mayo, with my mother, to see some of her old surviving friends and the places she still called “home”, we visited Lisheenabrone and the small farm where I was born and had my accident. The family were welcoming and willing to let us have a look around. The familiarity of the yard hit me straightaway and I was able to point to the spot where I had fallen decades ago-a spot my mother confirmed.
Maybe the porthole was not a “learned memory” after all, and maybe Lockdown will generate many more.
“I have been working for the last 8 weeks on what I call Covid 19 Paintings. I am attaching one for your delectation!”
2020 Covid19. Jenny Slevin’s Story.
Have spent the past eight weeks in Lockdown. Since 7th March, going back to the time when the Italian Rugby fans descended on Dublin. Noticed some fans walking around Dalkey that weekend, so thought it better to stay away from trouble! Usually like most of us we keep busy schedules. But during this time of isolation, have only had myself to plan daily activities! Not wishing to participate with my choir’s zoom practice, which distorts our facial expressions, making it uneasy to concentrate on song! Also Zoom Bridge does not appeal to me!
Looking out of the window to see what the weather is up to each morning, with my cup of early tea.. Some stretch exercises, followed by a light breakfast. When ready to face the day, venture, whenever possible into my small garden, left in rather a mess over the Winter months!
It has been a treat, gardening, listening to bird song, watching Spring awaken from its Winter slumber. The air seems fresher these days, no constant sound of aircraft crisscrossing the sky, the sounds of traffic building up during rush hour, with the smells of carbon and diesel. First snowdrops followed by some shy crocus, a great display of various kinds of daffodil, and now wondrous colour provided by beautiful tulips, …. early scented roses are coming into bloom. Notice many honey and bumble bees this year, a good sign! During this spell of fine weather can enjoy sitting outside taking in the surrounding splendour of the trees dressed in their new light green foliage, ready with sketch pad, my book and a cool drink. Bliss!
Yesterday 5th May, allowed out from isolation for exercise walk. Hurriedly headed towards Bullock harbour. Exhilarating, a North Easterly blowing, sea gulls dancing between the surf as it rolled by, bright blue sky, glistening in sun light! As if viewing all this with new eyes!
“Photo from Bullock harbour taken by Denis Mullen. To accompany my story for the UAC.
“The subjects are both poets…Cianan Carson and Eilaan Ni Chuilleanain. The paintings are small… 20 x 20 cm… part of a series commissioned by a private collector. It has to be one of the most comprehensive sets of Irish Writers’ portraits. I’ve worked on it for several years but paused towards the end last summer. The calm imposed by Covid-19 gave me an opportunity to return to work.”