The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It started at an early age, collecting rose petals and snails in the hedgerows. I got my first pocket camera at the age of 10 and turned to making portraits of the family, the kids and animals I knew.
Every roll of 12 black and white shots, was eked out over weeks until they were sent away to be printed as tiny, 2 inch square images. I've taken photographs ever since, snared by the alchemy. Photography is still rich with possibilities.
I live and work down a long green lane, strewn with ferns, heathers and the spectacular summer foxglove. It's a typical, small, off the beaten track kind of place. Nothing much happens, and yet absolutely everything happens. If I observe it, it becomes part of my work, my blog or simply makes for a happy day.
This landscape has inspired me on a daily basis. The repetitive observation of seasons, wildlife, plants and insects has opened my eyes to the interdependence of all living things. Connecting to the land, the sea and the sky focusses me on caring for it.
I often describe myself as a nature loving feminist because I have been an activist for most of my life. Blending all the things I love and care about, is a big part of how I work. It's a case of one foot on this quiet green island and one foot in the larger world.
Immersed in both the beauty of being here and the fragile nature of it, I'm not naive about the turbulent and destructive times we live in. While the rhythm of the seasons creates balance and keeps my feet on the ground, I will never get used to the unfathomable mystery of this planet and how close we are to the loss of it.
I have been blogging since 2011 and the Foxglove Lane Blog has won 4 national awards for Photography and a Silver Award in the Open House/Architectural Journal Competition, London. I am also a columnist with the Waterford News and Star, our local newpaper.
A Graduate of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and University College Cork, I spent ten years as a Lecturer in the Waterford Institute of Technology. I then co-founded Framework-building ethical leadership and practice with Glynis Currie. Over the years, Framework has developed creative methodologies, inclusive facilitation, training and set up and supported community based projects all over Ireland.
I still collaborate with community groups and individuals to use photography in creative ways. Photography can enhance other creative work, helps to tell stories and it's great fun.
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On a rainy Sunday in 2011 I posted a photo on the first Foxglove Lane Blog Diaries. Since then I've been a regular photoblogger. When you follow the blog, you will get an occasional update to your inbox and a downloadable Guide to practicing Photography with Heart.
- Exhibition From seed to blossom, from blossom to fruit as part of Waterford Imagine Festival in October 2017
- Photography as memory project. An group exploration as part of the Bealtaine Festival in collaboration with the Garter Lane Arts Centre. You can view a slideshow of the process here. May 2017
- As part of the County Waterford Arts Office response to Rural Networking for Artists, co-founded a Women's Circle along the Copper Coast.
- Recently joined the Board of Waterford Healing Arts Trust 2017
- Collaborations with Artist Roisin Sheehy, Casadh and for Feile na Bealtaine, An Bean a Chuireadh Crainn
- Fortnightly column in the Waterford News and Star called As I see it.
- The online Heartography Course will come on stream later in the year. You can sign up here if you want to be kept informed about the launch.
- Just launched with the Women's Circle is the Women's Creative Cafe, check it out here.
- Bealtaine Festival 2018, in collaboration with Garter Lane and the Waterford Women's Centre, a new photography workshop over the month of May 2018.