Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Journey through Tara. A visit culminating in a live casting event at Perfect Vision Studios

At the Gate. Drawing for Painting by Sean O Dwyer

Dear Friends.
As part of our Bronze on the Boyne project we are running a special event.
See the Itinerary below and an outline of the day.

Saturday the 5th of July
A journey through Tara...
Focusing on its mythological and symbolic importance through its tales and legends,
with a particular reference to Art History and Irish Metalwork. Including a live bronze casting event held later at the Perfect Vision Workshop.

13.30: Meet at Perfect Vision Studios 17 Park Avenue Grange Rath Drogheda.
14.15: Arrive at Tara.
14.30: Specially booked Audio Visual Presentation followed by
Guided tour around the monuments given by Sean.
15.30: The Great meeting in The Banquet hall.
15.45: Time to explore ( there are 30 known sites)
16.30: Time for Tara's interesting Shop and Antique Bookshop next store
(shop closes at 17.15)
17.45 Head Back to "The Banquet Hall" at Perfect Vision.
18.15 : Tea: Soup, Salad and Rolls. Tea, Coffee Juice. Bring wine or larger but only if you aren't driving.
20.00: Bronze Casting Event and Slide show on Metalwork Tradition and the Irish Artistic Heritage.

Cost is around €3.40 each for the fee into the centre including the audio visual centre children cost less.
WARNING: Bring rain-gear, including a hat, warmclothes and suitable boots. This is ireland.... and Tara is windswept on most days at best.

Guided Tour Outline
Tara is at first sight an arrangement of small grassy mounds beside a church. But to visit Tara is to visit the centre of Ireland's Valley of the Kings. The Boyne Valley. There is an unmistakable atmosphere there, an ambience of significance that brings one back to nearly 4000 BC at "The Mound of The Hostages" almost a thousand years before the building of the Pyramids in egypt.

Tara is a gateway of the imagination leading us through many Irish Myths and Legends and is often mentioned in stories such as "The Wooing of Etain", "The Battle of Moytura" and the destruction of "Da Derga's Hostel" . Its derives its name from "Temair" the legendary princess who died of homesickness for her home city of Thebes in Egypt who is reputed to have been buried there.

Tara's open mounds and enclosures overlook the Boyne Valley and all of the surrounding country side. But to appreciate Tara one should look at the artifacts and stories that are often referred to in the modern irish consciousness, items such as the Tara Brooch" (actually found in Bettystown near Drogheda), the Sile naGig in the church courtyard and the storytelling of the Irish Renaissance writers . In the 1970's Jim Fitzpatrick's images in their marvel comic book style seem to capture the heroism and adventure of these legends and still ignite the artistic spirit that comes searching "The Banquet Hall" at Tara. This is where all professional artisans and craftsmen of Ireland met every year to feast and celebrate their good service of their symbolical King Of The World who in turn was granted his position in service of the Gods and Godesses Lug, Maedb and Eithne.

Insanely threatened now from roadworks on the M3 we poignantly meet there just after the final day of the 6th World Archeological Congress being held in Dublin addressing the issues surrounding the M3 building project a project that mostly endangers The Tara, Skryne (Gabhra) Valley which owes its presence to two sacred springs found on Tara itself. One is called St Patricks spring and the other, which may be called Nemhnach, can be found at the south end of the field that contains Rath Loegaire.

Already partially bulldozed, the endangerment of the watercourses that run from these springs seems to tear away at the banks of the sacred underground stream itself, symbolising the threat to our passage to the otherworld that Tara has come to represent. This is the place of Rath Maeve and Rath Grainne too... the place where the Irish Romeo and Juliet, Diarmuid and Grainne fled from and.... as mentioned in the great irish poem the "Dindshenchas" , the resting place of Cuculainn also, some of whose remains are said to lie buried in this valley...

"The Measure of the Head of grim CĂș Chulainn
lies north-east from Rath Conchobair;
the dimension of his Shield under its Boss
is wonderful and huge".

I hope you will join with me in this celebration of our unique irish heritage which will culminate in a bronze Casting and slide show at The perfect Vision Workshop. There you can see the process used by the Ancient Irish Metalworkers since the time of the building of Tara.

I look forward to seeing you
Sean O Dwyer

Anamorphosis: A response to a query

Anamorphosis is a branch of the technique of Perspective. The real masters of it used it mostly during the Baroque period of art in Italy and France. Its an art form that is very theatrical and is often used today in theatre set design or in trompe l'oeil murals. for examples see... There you will see amazing renderings of this art form mostly used on the ceilings of churches.

Holbien used this process very mysteriously in one of his paintings "The Ambassadors" where he unusually paints what appears to be a smudge across the bottom of the painting and it turns out to be a skull. A memento mori ..a reminder of the presence of death despite the wealth, good fortune and great learning indicated in the portrait through symbols.

A good modern example can be seen in the work of Eric Grohe..... He uses tromp l'oeil effect to create works that pierce their surroundings and punch a hole right through the wall to create a dramatic and celebratory presentation. This is used