Week One: a visual diary from artist in residence Rosemary Liss

I tumbled off the plane and into a car heading north toward Slane. No time to settle in, I immediately found myself in the cool breezy morning of the Irish country side. We drank hot green tea with sourdough toast and slabs of creamy butter as we stood beside the car -fuel for the kilos of damsons yet to be picked.

 

Bloomy skins: chalky white dust, deep blues and warm purples as skin rips to reveal golden flesh so sweet and tart.

 

The stables is a hub of activity from yoga to fermentation projects, music performances to workshops. The loft is my space for the month; to make a mess, spread out and digest.

 

One evening I found myself in a sourdough workshop thanks to Shane of Sceal bakery. I learned to mix and shape and bake the bread, but most importantly to feel the dough and to smell and taste the acidity of the starter. You can watch hundreds of people make bread, but when you take it in your own hands this experimental learning makes all the difference.

 

A flour dusted surface or the foot prints left from a baker’s dance.

 

Baking on the edge.

 

The NCAD community garden has a kale forest and a place where compost and site specific art can meet.

 

Our outdoor kitchen for the EAT:ITH community garden dinner and the incredible people that brought this rainbow of a meal to life.

 

The bounty: Roasted beets, courgette spirals with garden pesto, young sourkraut, tomato and basil salad, potatoes with herbs and butter, grilled marrow with miso glaze and nasturtium leaves stuffed with sautéed cabbage.

 

A meal both vibrant and satiating consumed with good company and surrounded by growth.

 

I find inspiration in the colors and textures of the leftover, the scraps as they slowly decay -for me nothing is waste.

 

Friday night I had my first open studio to coincide with CEOIL: a night of dinner and music. Opening my doors allowed me to introduce the public to my process: the layering of structure and the building up of material as I formulate the final installation.

 

Microbes are our friends! A shot from Saturday’s parent child pickling class: teaching children about fermentation through hands-on tasting and making.

 

We took a field trip to Moy Hill on Sunday were we met a group of incredible humans who have returned to the land after years chasing waves. Here Ferg introduces us to his flock.

 

Moy Hill has very few permanent structures, but the kitchen is a focal point. A space of great energy where daily harvests are transformed into nourishing meals.

 

Chef Brian made us a tea infusion with wild herbs. He discussed how he gathers the plants that speak to him. He explains that some of the most healing herbs can be found on our foot paths, the orbits we humans make through the world. It is as if the plants are reaching out for us to take them- they are there for us if we pay attention.

 

Thank you for letting me share this first part of my trip with you. It’s been such a warm and welcoming experience. I am still processing the many moments of this busy week and soaking up the brain, mouth and eye feels.