VOGUE: Rites of Passage

Following my 'Field Day, 1979', exhibition on the work of Seamus Heaney, at the Linenhall Library over the months of September and October 2013, the Administrator and the Head Librarian of the Linenhall asked me if I would be interested in doing some work on Michael Longley’s poetry for May 2014, when the Library would be hosting Writers‘ Week. Naturally, I said yes, but time was limited, as, due to other commitments, I could not undertake any new work until the New Year. So it was decided that I make 8 new pieces of work, with the mandatory one being 'The Leveret', which Michael Longley wrote about his first grandson. Eight new pieces in 4 months! Now, that concentrated the mind somewhat.

The poems selected by the Head Librarian were: 

  • 'The Leveret', from Collected poems 2006, 2 new poems.
  • 'Swans Mating', from An Exploded View, 1973.
  • 'The Design', from The Weather in Japan, 2000
  • 'The Linen Industry', from the Echo Gate, 1979
  • 'Badger', from An Exploded View, 1973
  • 'Otters', from Gorse Fires 1991
  • 'The Pattern', from Snow Water, 2004
  • 'In Memory of Gerard Dillon', from An Exploded View, 1973

 These pieces were to be twinned with 8 pieces from the Seamus Heaney exhibition, ‘Field Work, 1979’.

I work early and late with little time spent watching TV, and it is interesting what can really be achieved in this way. I loved making the pieces, and seeing them mount up. I hope you, the viewer, will see the thread I have stitched between the works of the 2 poets.