Exactly one year ago I was at Cill Rialaig in Ireland, a studio retreat for three weeks, located in the restored ruins of a pre-famine village, in a wild and remote landscape situated on the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean! I drove all the way from Ipswich to this 'very edge' and had the most wonderful time.
Each artist has their own cottage inclusive studio, there are seven of them, occupied by artists and writers, and an eighth cottage, Tigh an Comhrá (Gaelic for “house of conversation”) or Meeting House, a place for residents to meet or enjoy an unusual library. Currently Cill Rialaig is fund raising to build a musician's cottage.
The closest village, Ballinskelligs, is three miles away. This is in a Gaeltacht, a rare Irish-speaking area, and is one of the least populated areas in Europe. Ballinskelligs has a population of less than 600; it has one general store/petrol station, a post office, two pubs, and a few seasonal cafes (and the nearest place to access internet). The largest town, Cahersiveen is a 20 minute drive away, and here are grocery stores, a great French patisserie, a good fish shop, a brilliant hardware store, a newsagent, and of course several pubs.
Cill Rialaig is a quiet, remote retreat where one can temporarily renunciate ordinary domestic and work demands. The isolation offers the opportunity to focus entirely on one’s creative work without interruption.
I did a lot of walking, the light and landscape are amazing, always changing. What was really special to me: there is no organised entertainment or residency programming nor are you expected to produce anything in exchange.
As you can imagine the lifestyle is very simple and basic. No television, computers, microwaves & internet access.
I cooked my own meals, cleaned the cottage ...
This slide show is of 28 photos from the cottages and the environment.
I attach paintings by Leonara Neary who was at Cill Rialaig at the same time as me.
She was brilliant company for two weeks and I love her work!
Leonora, thanks for allowing me to share your paintings, much appreciated!
Series: Waters that pull
How we experience and view our surrounding landscape varies greatly and can be determined by a myriad of circumstances, personal and otherwise. To experience a particular place consistently, to know it through seasons, through years, through a substantial portion of a life, one cannot but absorb a sense of a place into ones being and memory. It is invariably a personal journey where the physical landscape forms the backdrop to a daily life, where a steady trickle of physical and emotional memories over time develops into a visual and mental file, a composite of imagery and experience; the personal documents and snapshots of a place and time.
Janet MacFadyen, poet from Massachusetts, USA
Anne Payton, painter from Reading, England
Charlotte Kelly, painter from Galway, Ireland
Barbara Pecarich, Mystic therapist from New York
Cill Rialaig / information and contact details
Telephone: + 353 66 9479297