Beyond the ninth wave
"When you live that far out, there is nowhere to go but deep inside"
Kevin Barry, Beetlebone
The title refers to the islands of peace and eternal life that lie beyond the ninth wave in Irish mythology. These Arcadian islands are thought to lie in the North Atlantic. These images are rooted in a real place but hope to bring the viewer closer to the island beyond the ninth wave.
In the 1980’s, a group called the Atlantis Community moved from London to Inishfree, a remote island, off the coast of Donegal in Ireland, to practice primal scream therapy. The main motivation of this therapy was to release deep-rooted imprinted pain. The predominantly female community was labeled The Screamers by the Irish media.
The images from this series emerge from viewing this Donegal landscape as a metaphorical biography of the Screamers psyche, one where trauma has played a significant role. Beyond the ninth wave explores this wounded island landscape.
This thought process also led to a period of experimentation as I tried to find a way to express the physicality of this traumatised landscape.
On the island, I collected turf for the fire in a wheelbarrow daily. This Irish fuel source also known as peat is created from dead and decaying vegetation accumulated and compressed over millennia. One of the properties of turf is that it preserves all that is held within its environment, there is an inherent memory that is trapped within.
I started exposing the turf onto darkroom paper during the daylight hours and then fixing them late at night to create Lumen prints.
When presented as triptychs, the patterns started to resemble sound waves.