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Anam Cara’ was painted following a walk with my lovely friend Anne. A true Anam Cara or ‘Soul friend’. Time spent with Anne is rare but delicious time – that feels ‘out of time’, timeless. It’s feels to my mind like a sort of dream-time. Extra special post-covid – when time with friends was all the sweeter and more precious.
Dreamtime or Dreaming for Australian Aboriginal people represents the time when the Ancestral Spirits progressed over the land and created life. Dreaming is the word used to explain how life came to be; it is the stories and beliefs behind creation.
Walking with Anne in Ciarraí, up Bolus Head, through wild flower filled hedges or along the shoreline in Ballinskelligs Bay gives great context to these places. Anne has kindly shared her connection to these places and her own sense of the stories and belief behind creation and being alive. It often feels as if during this time we are accompanied by ancestral spirits.
As well we might… I came to know Anne (and her wonderful husband Pat) when I became interested in the work of her father, the late (great!) Micheal Kirby. The Kirby senior began writing his thoughts and reflections on life and nature in his eighth decade. Skelligside was published by Lilliput Press when he was 78! Skelligs Calling, Skelligs Sunset and many volumes of poetry were to follow. More recently, Skelligs Haul ( published Lilliput 2019) brings together a fantastic collection of his prose and poetry (available to buy @lilliputpress online). AND he was a very accomplished painter! ). The writer Urquhart described Michael Kirby as “A man who understands the true value of life.. He shows us that everything that lives is connected”.
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