Over the past year I have moved to the countryside in the gorgeous Co. Wicklow. I  left behind the big city of Dublin that was the backdrop of much of my artistic inspiration for years, and traded it in for magic and quietude and a lot of time to think.

The mainstay of my thoughts have been with nature and developing my listening skills. Listening to the rain on the tin roof of the house, the bird song in the morning and all through the day, the rutting of deer in the forest in October and the cries of little lambs in the fields. The sounds of the wind in its many guises thundering or swishing gently up the lane are something extraordinary that I had never before heard.

One of the other elements of living in the middle of no-where was the element of hiding. Hiding away is a nice feeling when it is ‘allowed’. In the hiding I have been drawing, listening, writing, singing and being very true to my inner nature. Now is time to share the fruits over the next while and get back to this neglected blog. It might not last, or it might, but it sure feels nice to be writing again today.

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Sifting through

Lifting the old ones

the brown ones crisp and tawny on the surface

Out beneath the grass rocks

Dark, wet tendrils of last summer’s charms

slither. I turn them up to meet

the air. Over the fork in my hand

they weave

they want my hand on their backs to teach them touch.

Look under when all is mulch-

green shoots! A sign of spring returning.

The dead can sit at the side

a day longer.

For tomorrow comes the hum and trim.

 

Gel Print diptych ‘Uniform’ in Higher Bridges Gallery, Clinton Centre Enniskillen

a place to be placed

within a set of values and parameters

an algorithm for staying put

2014 Helen McNulty

Uniform 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Uniform 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
Uniform 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Section of Uniform 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
Section of Uniform 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Section of Uniform 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
Overview of 'Uniform' 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Overview of ‘Uniform’ 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
Overview of 'Uniform' 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Overview of ‘Uniform’ 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
Panel 2 of  2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Panel 2 of 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
Panel 1 of 'Uniform  2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
Panel 1 of ‘Uniform’ 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood
'Uniform' 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood by Helen McNulty
‘Uniform’ 2014 Acrylic Gel Print Photograph on Wood.

Down

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down

Sinking into the wave an inch from earth
Drowning in a shallow hypnosis
Rippling footsteps disintegrate the built world
Leaving a fractured trace of reality in its wake
Rain falls in perfect circles and there is the outline of my eye
As big as the sun
As I spy.

Down is the latest body of work I’m working on – an extension of studies on the reflections of water, ‘down’ is studies of the canals, rivers and puddles in Dublin, Amsterdam and Fermanagh.
In 2014 I hope to focus more on the water in Fermanagh as we may not have clean water too much longer there due to the practice of fracking (fracturing the earth to extract shale gas – more information here )
It could well be that clean drinking water and swimming water may be a thing that only our generation will remember and I wish to take the studies there next.

Final pieces from down will be shown in galleri Wendleboe in Bergen in January 2014 as well in various group shows starting with Higher Bridges Gallery in Enniskillen on December 12. More info here

Perfection out of a bang

There is a balance inherent in mathematical structure that could be called perfection. Symmetry, the golden rule, equations for the tides and their rhythms, for the patterns of corals elegant replications, for the dating of stars. Perfection.

The moors back in the day when they held the seats of knowledge believed that god could not be represented by icons or images that had an identity, face or a natural structure. God was depicted through mathematic equations drawn out beautifully like intricate snowflakes on the walls of the churches and mosques and markets. Piet Mondrian held that same belief when representing Christ in blocks of colour.

I have been thinking on this for a while. As I delve in to the intricacies and the imbalances of the structures of nature. Into the space or the place where the cracks in the code are. Hacking the code of nature through paint to find the unique rather than the generic perfection.

When I was young I always gave myself a hard time that I wasn’t normal. Normal was perfection. A mathematical place of balance and order and proper rules. This place is normal. And as such exists very much so in the realm of ideas. Now as an artist I want to be normal. To come to a deeper understanding of the purity of the patterns of nature so I can use these tools to navigate and translate the rain and elements through paint. It is an exciting time for the world as we have constructed a massless place for our consciousness to dwell and it can all be shared. Another sign that when nature gets into the cracks of its own perfection it begins to create new ever marvellous ideas and forms and thoughts.

Armed with the knowledge that we are a constant ever evolving possibility of particles within and without makes this an exciting time for art and for humanity.
Science and art were great pals for such a long time and then something called propriety and order stepped in to divide us. But we have been having a secret affair for years. Now it is time to shout out our mutual love to the world. We are all excavating the same truths and perceiving this glorious plain through all our tools of observation. The observer and the observed will continue to change and mutate and return to balance, to the simple truth, to death. Only of course to erupt forth again in new birth.

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an endless rain inside a paper cup

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My thoughts today meander upwards to that place beyond even the imagination of my hyperactive mind. To the place where my sister now lives. If they have candles and cake there, may she have one big party to celebrate the day her being was brought to form in our family under our parents and to be our sister and a wife and mother on this plain.
There is solace found in the fact that energy is never destroyed, and that being so, I know she lives.
Her body, young and beautiful expired too soon because the spirit that dwelt inside was probably too hot for it to handle. Her beautiful body lies deep under the hill in the most prime real estate in town but the part that will not be destroyed is the part that makes me know she lives. The parts that make us all live. It’s the bits of us that think and wander, excite and engage, delight and enrage, love and loathe, plot and pursue, justify and create, desire and deserve, mull and mourn, pout and puff. The aspects that choose and want, decide, deliberate, debate, ask, seek, feel and imagine. Even the parts that hate or conjugate, that design and deign, that react and refrain, that will and intend. It is these that are the true gifts of our cojoined humanity and divinity and they are here as they are there. Wherever there may be, that ethereal, illusive no where, where we shall all be in the end.
Grief passes and moves through time – it does move and shift, not in linear time but in circular ebbs and flows; soon you trust the waves of grief to bring you to a safe place where they are not rocking you in their tempestuous waters anymore, yet they remain visible from the rocks of the new island called ‘coping’.
There is nothing else to do on this island but Ground the light from the mystery into this shape and form you know as ‘you’ and thank the energy that lives within and without for knowing what it is to be a living alive human and let the others pass freely on to their own shores – for it is to be.

The Spring Clean

As it is spring equinox I am feeling like a spring clean (even if the Irish weather dictates that winter still resides on our island.) So at 5pm on Friday 22 March I will be giving away sketches on my Facebook Page

 

To get a free sketch; please share around, like and comment on your favourite sketch from the sketchbooks on the timeline – if I still have it as a real item (most of them are still here) then it’s yours! If there is competition for a sketch well then we will see what happens!
This is an experiment from an artist and woman who finds parting with the past quite difficult. So here’s to spreading the love and to life’s own Springs.

 

Thoughts on colour on a beautiful morning

beautiful colour oil painting

Colour is the fracturing of the universe’s glorious starlight so we on earth can comprehend the glory of its being.

What a wonderous way to experience the light of the stars through the greens of the grasses and the blues of the sky and the flush of morning light on a persons face. We truly are blessed by this filter. Without it we would go blind and with it we are free and tortured by the myriad of tones jumping forth from all of our earthly planes. Leaving nothing to us but the will and the want to see and to mix the palette to create our very own masterpiece called life, knowing that it comes originally from that blinding ball of gas, the untouchable, unreachable sun making it much more divine.

The Norway Adventure

Up is off to the Hordalands in the inspiring Norsk country next week where the pieces will be showing in Galleri Wendelboe in the beautiful city of Bergen.

The official opening is on Saturday 17th of November in Galleri Wendelboe 

 

Up Exhibition Party 12-09-12

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Photos from the Up Party on Wednesday 12 September taken by the talented young photographer Bridget Fritz

I would like to thank a load of people for making Up happen and for supporting me in my career.

Big thanks to Deirdre Mulrooney of Vulgo.ie for curating the show and believing in my work. Deirdre is a very talented writer and is involved in the arts in every conceivable way, she’s like a supermodel with a huge intellect.

A hug and cuddle of thanks to one of my great heros in Dublin, Gerry Godley, Artistic Director of Improvised Music Company and the inventor of the amazing 12 Points festival. Gerry has been supportive of me for years and helped make it possible to have a party by supplying the wine!

Another sponsor of the evening’s celebrations was a dear friend and inspirer  Mick Berry Director of  M2C Limited – a brilliant engineering company who design green sustainable gizmos and gidgets for this madly brilliant technological world of ours. Mick’s mind is a wonderful land, he sees solutions in all of life’s problems.

Big thanks to my friends Cathy, Dermot, Éilish & Peter, Conor, Shelly, Janet, Rhona & Archie  and Brian & Bridget for their patience, kindness and love especially in times when life was very challenging. Thanks to my family, without whom there would be no art.

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