Caoineadh Cill Chais

watercolour of old tree by Eoin Mac Lochlainn Deireadh Fómhair series
The lone tree (after Friedrich)

Cuireadh amhrán Cill Chais i gcuimhne dom le déanaí agus mé ag ullmhú do thaispeántas ealaíne a bheidh á sheoladh agam i nGailearaí Olivier Cornet go luath.

“Cad a dhéanfaimid feasta gan adhmaid?  Tá deireadh na gcoillte ar lár. Níl trácht ar Chill Chais ná a teaghlach is ní chluinfear a cling go bráth…”

‘Nfheadar an chuimhne leat an t-amhrán sin ón scoil, sean-amhrán faoi mar a gearradh síos na crainn in Éirinn san séú aois déag – le longa adhmaid a thógáil do chabhlach Shasana. Tá leagan deas den amhrán seo ag Na Casaidigh agus is féidir é a chloisint anseo.

Bhí mé ag ceapadh go raibh sé spéisiúl mar a léirigh an t-údar a ghrá don nádúr agus mar a scríobh sé (nó sí) faoi cheol binn na n-éan.

“Ní chluinim fuaim lachan ná gé ann, ná fiolar ag éamh cois cuain, ná fiú na beacha chun saothair, thabharadh mil agus céir don slua. Níl ceol binn milis na n-éan ann le hamharc an lae ag dhul uainn, ná an chuaichín i mbarra na gcraobh ann, is í chuirfeadh an saol chun suain…”

Bhuel, nach bhfuil an port céanna le casadh againn na laethanta seo – ach amháin nach féidir linn an locht a chur ar na Sasanaigh a thuilleadh!  Tá céatadán an-bheag d’fhoraoiseacht againne in Éirinn anois, i gcomparáid le tíortha eile.  Nach mbeadh sé go h-aoibhinn dá mbeadh foraoisí móra againn aríst, mar a bhíodh againn fadó.  Coillte agus doirí scaipthe ar fud na tíre – agus ní amháin go mbeadh tionchar acu ar an aeráid ach bheadh an tír féin níos sláintiúla agus níos sona dá bharr.

 

The Old Trees don’t die

The painting above was inspired by ‘The lone tree’, by Caspar David Friedrich. The ancient tree is a link between the past, the present (and possibly) the future. Heaven knows, it’s been through a lot in its thousand or so years on earth but it stubbornly persists, and continues to enhance the world with its presence.

Of course, trees are vital for life on this planet. They absorb carbon dioxide, they give us oxygen, they give shade and they cool the air, they prevent soil erosion and help to prevent flooding. Over their lifetime, they offer shelter and food to whole communities of birds, insects, lichens and fungi. As they grow older, their hollow trunks provide cover for species such as bats, owls, woodpeckers and squirrels. Even when they eventually collapse, they give nutrients back to the soil and they feed all sorts of crucial creepy crawlies as well.  Now I’m no expert but that sounds to me like good reasons to celebrate them.

And I’d say that this was my main motivation with ‘Deireadh Fómhair‘, the body of work that I’ve been developing over the past year.

This exhibition will be opening at the Olivier Cornet Gallery on the 21st of October – and the guest speaker will be Paddy Woodworth, author of Our Once and Future Planet: Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century.

Deireadh Fómhair

http://www.oliviercornetgallery.com/

http://www.paddywoodworth.com/

Na Casaidigh

 

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