Thursday, 27 April 2017

Smugachán Sráide

An exhibition exploring the theme of 'Border' by a group of female artists in Doire-Derry-Londonderry, Spring 2017.

The Irish words 'Smugachán Sráide' translate to 'snotty nosed street child' in English, or : 'Mudlarking'. The term originated in London as a cruel slur on the poor folk (mostly children) that scavenged their way up and down the River Thames at low tide. Unlike the majestic, soaring skylark, these orphans were impoverished, alone and living on the edges of living. Like that bird though, they were masters of their own geography, imprisoned by none, wading to their own songs. Finding parts of themselves reflected back through the mud and gloaming; free as a bird. A body of water knows no borders. She is held delicately in the in-between place between longing and landscape, carrying us in her strong flow to spaces unknown; unmapped territories. I recently had a piece of artwork on display in an exhibition entitled ‘Border’ alongside 23 other female artists. My piece was a circle made of pieces of crockery that were gathered after a great storm in Donegal the morning before the Vernal Equinox. That morning I awoke from a dream in which I had been gathering displaced birds, smuggled shells, broken parts of bones and old China that the sea had deposited at a house right at the mouth of a sheltered cove. A handful of hours later I mudlarked the pieces from a deep, stinking overflow sewage bend. That night I dreamed of almost drowning in a long, dark sewer as very small children walked a line that became a circle, undoing locked gates with their unbearably haunting singing. 

giver- of myth and broken things.

mid-way – caught in the in-between: buried in deepening BOGLIGHT; lost.

                                               LARK / DARK;
                                      MIRROR MEETS THE MIRE.

fade- far beneath the tideline; drawn to the hidden depths- like a moth to the moon.

led- to the surface like the Sea Mither rising from the belly of the storm; spat out shards of terrifying beauty; found.