Tattykeeran Art Studio | 25 Drumeen Rd | Beragh | Co. Tyrone | Northern Ireland
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‘Earth Spirit’ Exhibition

‘EARTH SPIRIT’ oil paintings and gouache watercolours opens at the McKenna Gallery, Castle St. Omagh, on Thursday 10th September and continues until 3rd October 2009.

The paintings are inspired by a passion for the wild countryside, and ‘Earth Spirit’ expresses the mystery of nature, and the folklore which grew from the celtic landscape.

Each tree had its own personality and resident spirit. As an embodiment of the universe, the roots of the tree inhabit the underground, the deep knowledge of the earth. The trunk unites the roots with the upper celestial canopy. The products given by each tree were considered a physical manifestation of divine providence.

One of the paintings in the exhibition entitled “The cradle of the myth” is based on a tree living in a very old graveyard near Beragh, Co. Tyrone. It is known locally as the “toothache tree”. Coins are pushed into the bark as a cure for toothache. When I tried to find out more I was amazed to discover the site of a pilgrimage to Beragh lake (more of a pond now) and the tree commemorating St Patrick’s visit to the area. The original St. Patrick’s church no longer exists, and today very few locals know anything about the pilgrimage which saw thousands descend from all over Ireland to meditate while crawling on hands and knees around the lake from which St.Patrick banished the serpent. After visiting the graveyard of the church at the top of the hill a token was left at the toothache tree.

The animals too enjoy a lyrical unity with the earth ”animals live outside in the wind, in the waters, in the mountains and in the clay. The knowing of the earth is in them. The zen-like silence and thereness of the landscape is mirrored by the silence and solitude of the animals “ John O’ Donohue (Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World). What we cherish in our wild landscape must be protected for the future.

For all enquiries about the paintings in the exhibition please contact the McKenna Gallery.