Two girls are working together, very intent, very focused. Between them is an open book showing the work of canadian artist Emily Carr (1871 – 1945), the artist who worked on the edge of nowhere. Emily’s work was inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and her paintings depict their village life and forests of totem poles. The children are drawing their totem animal that will be part of a collective drawing.
As I watch them working it occurs to me that here in the Burren we are also on the edge of nowhere. When we look through the windows there is nothing but wilderness, a sea of rocks and boulders that the light picks out as the clouds travel in the vast sky. Over the week all the children in the group become part of this landscape, both the ones who live here all year round and the ones who have joined in for the art course. They paint and draw it, they run in it (rain or no rain), they eat it (apples and blackberries). During the time that we work together they produce great work with a concentration and playfulness that many adults would envy, entertaining each other with witty jokes and tall tales.
Here on the edge of nowhere we feel very much at the centre of things as creativity is thick in the air. I know I have to refrain myself from interfering and just let things happen, in their own time at their own pace. All in all a week well spent.