The Irish landscape is dotted with the remains of Neolithic settlements, burial grounds and ceremonial sites; its lore with the associated myths and legends. There is an eerie beauty to the locations and the mythology that has, down the centuries, continued to fascinate and intrigue writers, poets, artists, in fact all who wish to dream.
Elaine has had a passionate interest in the sites and stories of pre-Christian Ireland for many years, not least because of the proximity of her home to Brewel Hill and Killeen Cormac which feature prominently in her work. Developing themes from earlier exhibitions and recognizing the central part of words in this heritage, she decided that poetry would complement her artwork and the collaboration with Michael was born.
The images and poems in Above Ground Below Ground sit together so comfortably that it is impossible to establish which preceded which and the truth is that as the collaboration developed, the ideas flowed freely in both directions, one medium feeding the other. The work explores a wide range of aspects of Ireland’s megalithic heritage: the sites’ physical features, the myths and legends and their meanings, the artwork, the relevance of it all to today’s world.
A presentation of Above Ground Below Ground was given by Elaine and Michael at Cruachan Aí Heritage Centre in Tulsk, Co Roscommon on Culture Night Sept 21st 2012. It is hoped that an exhibition of the work might take to the road later in 2013, at home and abroad and that the work might be reproduced in book-form.
Links for Elaine and Michael
Elaine Leigh Fine Artist
Michael O’Dea’s Homepage http://homepage.eircom.net/~michaelodea/
Michael’s Blog http://odeamichael.blogspot.ie