Copeland Art Collective
We are all traveller's
Swept to this island
to share this moment in time
On the last weekend in May 2016, I had an incredible opportunity to make some very special memories...
when I was cast away with eleven other artists, on Lighthouse Island, in the Irish Sea, as guests of the Copeland Bird Observatory.
What a magical weekend. I had the opportunity to explore this previously unknown natural environment, gathering pictures, poems and memories with a view to producing art work to celebrate the island’s flora and fauna; as well as the curatorship of the Copeland Bird Observatory.
The artist's work formed an exhibition which moved to three different venues during June, July and August 2016. The first was Ards Art Centre, then the Bangor Library Gallery and finally the Library in Donaghadee. The exhibition not only showcased each artist's response to the visit, but reflected the artistic journey itself, inviting visitors to share this experience by following the exhibition as it moved, and watching how the artist's work grew and progressed over time. The group kindly read out one of my poems at the oficial opening night. Wow!!!
The whole experience was a "first" - but we all hope it is also a "beginning " - of a long term artistic collaboration.
(Grateful thanks go to Ards and North Down Council for facilitating this wonderful experience!)
To capture my experience of Lighthouse Island I chose to focus on the feeling of being “unplugged” , open to, and a part of the natural world - unbuffered by the trappings of modern life. I chose to superimpose my poetry on images that I had captured on the island or painted after my return. My response was largely to nature and the winged nomads who shared this little rock in the ocean with me for this time. The work of the Copeland Bird Observatory is only obliquely mentioned - in gentle references to the migration of its avian visitors that they watch so carefully.