Taking stock

It’s hard to believe that only a month ago we were leaving Radicondoli and driving home to Dublin. We got home on a Monday afternoon (having left on Thursday!), to hang the show at the Club the following day. The show opening on Thursday.
It was strange looking at all the work, would it be good enough? was there enough of it? would it come together as a show? 

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Even though I had an idea of what was going where, I was hanging large landscape drawings and etchings with the recent female profile etchings, and I had the underlying worry that it wouldn’t “gel”. After some radical/drastic editing, the work was pared down to 28, and Marcus/LSH got down to the tricky job of hanging the show.

During this quite stressful day, I kept hearing of other exhibitions that were due to open the same night as mine. By the following day the tally was almost ten! My heart was sinking by the hour. I felt nobody would come along to the Club, and if they did manage to, they would be:

1) blotto,
2) have spent their money,
3) bamboozled looking at art, or
4) all three!

Nonetheless, I put on the posh frock and warpaint, gritted my teeth and headed into the Club, determined to put a brave face on things. 

To my amazement, there were already a few friendly faces there, and more heartening, a couple of red dots! As more and more people arrived, all my doubts melted away. As if things couldn’t get better, James English gave a wonderful speech, (which left me with a bright red face that took about an hour to fade).

By the end of the night the sales were into double figures and I floated home on air!
But in true ML fashion (3 steps forward, 2 back), the next morning I woke and couldn’t put my left foot to the ground. The pain was much more severe than the pain I had before I had my hip was replaced, and alarmingly it was the same leg. An MRI Scan later and I was diagnosed with a trapped nerve. So I spent ten days on crutches and the most mind altering painkillers imaginable, which I eventually had to give up as my head was wrecked.

In no time at all, it was time to take down the show. Twenty pieces had sold, happy days!


Last Thursday, I came down here to Cill Rialaig for two weeks’ work.
It’s about thirteen years since I came here. It was May. The first time I’d been on an artist’s residency. The first time I ever heard a cuckoo, or saw a pine martin. The weather was glorious. But I had to leave this idyll after a few days, as Ma got pneumonia and I’d to return to her in hospital in Dublin.
As I drove here I thought of all the things that have happened since my last visit. I married Marcus. We got the flat in Radicondoli. I built the new studio at home. Ma, and many pals are no longer. I am 57 and time seems to be getting short. And it is, appropriately, autumn. 

As I sit here typing in front of  the three drawings I am working on, the wind is howling outside. I realise that this is a place not just for making work, it is for taking stock.

L.S.H. = Long-suffering husband

castle  easel