‘Sailing the South Coast, Smerwick to Youghal’, (detail)

drypoint, watercolour, chine collé, 70 x 360 cms, drypoint, watercolour, chine collé, 2013


Sea Journeys

The coastline, from the wild and rugged Atlantic coast of County Kerry, traversing the beautiful deeply indented ragged coastline of West Cork to the low, plainer shores of East Cork - the porous membrane of the southern edge of the island of Ireland is continually traversed with arrivals and departures - military, commercial, criminal, or cultural - which has for long been a vital threshold of contact with continental Europe and beyond.
It is this coastline, one of the best recreational sailing grounds in the world, that lies at the source of my work in the exhibition 'Voyage’ and my attempt to: re-create, re-present, re-imagine, re-live, re-invent, a ‘sea journey’ and map it in ­‘Sailing on the South Coast, Smerwick to Youghal’

The print is based on my experiences of sailing in these waters, intermittently over the last fifteen years or so, and draws on, among other things, memory, the logs, sketches, charts, photographs, stories and histories of the islands, ports and harbours on the way. It is loaded with historical and contemporary references (… the massacre of the Spanish expedition in Smerwick Harbour 1580, the Battle of Kinsale 1603, which marked the end of Gaelic Ireland, C18 smuggling in Derrynane, the cocaine haul off Mizzen Head 2008, the sacking of Baltimore by Dutch and Algerian pirates 1631..), coastal navigation features (..tides, obstacles, harbours, quays, marinas, shipping traffic, leisure traffic, navigation buoys..) and many of the wonderful landmarks: lighthouses (.. An Tearracht, Fort Point Valentia, Mizzen Head, Galley Head, The Old head of Kinsale, Roaches Point Automatic, Ballycotton..), fishing villages (..Dingle, Knightstown, Portmagee, Derrynane, Crookhaven, Skull, Baltimore, Glandore, Union Hall, Castletownsend Courtmacsherry,  Kinsale..), magical Islands (..  the Blaskets, the Skelligs, Valentia, Clear and Sherkin..), bays and harbours (..Dingle Bay, Bantry Bay, Roaring Water Bay, Gascanane Sound, Dursey Sound…) and personal memories, experiences both real and imagined.

Further information:

Link to

‘Voyage’ further Information

Very Well Thus! Sea Journeys in Contemporary Art

Nancy Campbell, Huffington Post, 28/04/2013