Ballinahown women exhibit work at Belmont Mills

IRELAND’S ability to inspire creativity is often linked only to the lakes, mountains and vistas of the western coastline and the ‘Wicklow garden’.

IRELAND’S ability to inspire creativity is often linked only to the lakes, mountains and vistas of the western coastline and the ‘Wicklow garden’.

But two enterprising local women artists beg to differ.

Working in a small triangle in the heart of Ireland, bounded by Clonmacnois, Lough Boora Parklands and the craft village of Ballinahown, they have put together an exhibition that shows the infinite variety of inspiration sources in the area.

Carol Bergin and Rosemarie Langtry’s ‘territory’ is divided by the Grand Canal and the Brosna River, waterways that provide a wealth of wildlife, flowering plants and timeless structures along their banks.

Two dozen examples of the results are featured in a joint exhibition by Carol and Rosemarie at Belmont Mill Gallery near Ferbane from August 24 to September 23. The title ‘Inspired by ....’ is a teasing invitation to look at all of the wonders of their surroundings and see how they are worked into the art on display.

The location itself could be part of the inspiration source list - a huge complex of old stone buildings on the banks of the River Brosna, it has been developed by owners Tom Dolan and Sandy Lloyd into an international centre for arts and crafts.

Carol, who lives on the Grand Canal between Belmont and Shannon Harbour, works mainly in batik, a process that uses dyes and wax to create capricious patterns on fabric.

Rosemarie’s work ranges across all of the major artistic disciplines, and from her base near Ballinahown she manages a busy schedule of workshops, exhibits and education sessions.

“We are eager to show not only the results of our inspiration but also the processes by which we interpret our observations, experiences and emotions,” Carol and Rosemarie said.

For that reason, the exhibit will also have a section where visitors can learn some of the more advanced techniques used.

The joint exhibit will be mounted from August 24 to September 23 with an opening reception at 3pm on Sunday August 28 to which all are invited. Details of the artists and the works on display, together with directions and contacts, can be found at www.skana.info.