Just add music, it makes all the difference

Well, you just have to listen to Davy Spillane’s music.  Here’s a short video that I created of my recent solo exhibition in Áras Éanna on Inishere , the smallest of the Aran Islands. I used a wonderfully evocative piece of music called: Dreaming of the Bones by Spillane as the soundtrack. Not many people know this but I was in school with him, many, many centuries ago.

if you can’t see the video above please click  here

A poem by Cathal Ó Searcaigh entitled: “Na Bailte Bánaithe” was the inspiration for this body of work, a poem about how spirits haunt the land, long after the people who lived there have gone. I spent some time in the Donegal Gaeltacht a few years ago, exploring the old abandoned houses that were mentioned in the poem. And I began a series of paintings of empty fireplaces, a yearning perhaps, to make contact with those long gone from the place. There are two rooms and two series of paintings in this exhibition. The second series is of empty skies – symbolising the possibilities and promise of a new life.

Mar a dúirt mé, b’é dán leis an bhfile Cathal Ó Searcaigh a bhí mar spreagadh don saothar ealaíne seo, dán dár teideal: “Na Bailte Bánaithe”. Dán í seo a léiríonn cé mar a mhaireann spiorad daoine i gcuimhne áite fiú má tá said imithe ar shlí na fírinne. Chaith mé tréimhse cónaithe i nGaeltacht Thír Chonaill cúpla bliain ó shin agus thosnaigh mé ag cuartú na seantithe tréigthe a bhí luaite sa dán, ag iarraidh sórt eicint teagmháil a dhéanamh leo b’fhéidir, leo siúd  – i mbéal an uaignis – mar a deir an dán. Is machnamh ar an imirce is mó a bhí i gceist agam, ceapaim.

Anyway, that exhibition continues until the end of June so, if you happen to be on the West Coast, why not take a trip out to the island for a look. A boat leaves Ros a’ Mhíl every morning at 10.30am and returns at about 5.45 in the afternoon. There’s a also boats going from Doolin every day.  Finally, don’t forget to send me your comments, I’m always interested in hearing your views.














  1. Thank you for this incredibly beautiful interval (the video). I’ve loved the empty fireplaces since I first saw them. And the open, serene landscapes complement them well.The music was beyond perfect. Sorry to gush, it just hit me that way, I’m in a very stressed time preparing for some public speaking, so to be able to chill right down was a real gift.

    The way that, in this show, for you, words, music and images go together gives your work real depth, real heart. Wish I could just jump on that Ros a’ Mhíl ferry straight from Holland and go see it for myself. Sarah


  2. Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin. Except sometimes you do find fireplaces that haunt you somehow, in a pleasant way. The contrast of the old fireplaces with the empty skies was brilliant. Thanks for the piece.


  3. This music goes really well with your artwork, it certainly adds some atmosphere and somehow enlarges the impact of your paintings. They are very thought provoking, but adding sound to the visual stimulation “pulls the right strings” and creates an emotional tempest. (Well, for me it does! I know I analyse life too much and tend to see loads of sadness, but I’m sure I’m not the only one susceptible to seeing the little details behind the grand colourful facades and smiles.)

    I do love your exhibition and it was really nice to see your paintings in one place. I’m really glad we have this virtual reality, where we can share stuff, as (sadly) I don’t think I’d get a chance to visit the smallest of the Aran Islands some time soon… K.


    • Thanks for your comment Kristina. I was wondering if there is a similar sort of Northern European feeling of sadness or melancholy in Ireland and Lithuania – maybe because of the long dark winters? I don’t know… what do you think?


      • Eoin, to my mind you are right in thinking that we share similar feelings of sadness and melancholy that stem from similar lifestyle which is determined by our geographical location – short warmer periods mean that we are constantly surrounded by landscapes that lack colour (but I do find them very attractive!) and long winters always bring cold and dark evenings… Yet we are more fortunate than the people who live in Norway or Finland – I’m not sure how I’d cope with darkness that lasts half a year; in theory they should be even more prone to emotional lows (although this can’t explain this very sad fact – Lithuania has the highest rate of suicide in Europe).

        One more issue – I’m not sure how strongly the Irish are attached to their own land, but we, Lithuanians, have always had extremely strong “roots”, hence the negative reaction to the whole emigration problem. Moving to another country means that you will still always want to come back; I think it’s impossible to “take out” Lithuania out of a Lithuanian. I’m afraid we are a very settled nation and in an ideal World most of us would stay at home – I told you that dull and sometimes even uninviting landscape is extremely pretty and unexplainably homey. K.

        Liked by 1 person

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