My next small collection of original, collectable, small paintings will be launching on the 23rd of June 2023. I have been experimenting and playing with beautiful piments and textures to bring you this gorgeous collection of affordable artworks. Oíche Shín Seáin (St John’s Eve) is a magical night in West Kerry where we light a big bonfire, walk in a ceremony, gather and play music at Teampall Geall an ancient chapel in Ventry. We take a sip of the ‘fíain geall an tSléibhe’ or a local clear spirit and we walk around an ancient ‘tobar’ (well). We take a splanc from the embers of the fire into the barns and our houses for good luck for the coming year.
This same ritual was still extant in Cork city where I grew up and this night always fascinated me as the last pagan rite in urban areas. You could feel the madness and thin veils into the otherworld as you visited all the huge burning infernos of piled up mattresses, tires and calls of ‘Have you anything for the fire?’. Of course, every area competed for the biggest ‘bonna’ until these were made illegal by the council a few years ago.
Other thoughts and memories that have inspired me as I work on this collection are the mad march hare, the magic tree or ‘sceach geall’, the gorse, pagan symbols, red moons, eclipses, and shape-shifters, dreams, cleansing waterfalls, colloquialisms and humour.
The rest is a surprise. Join me on the 23rd of June 2023.
Aine Ni Chiobahain