Category Archives: Sketch

Women.

Women. This place is a matriarchy says Seán Keating, but how does one recognize that aspect of it? The women stay indoors and the girls… This absence of women is important enough. Only occasionally does one see a red skirt, that of an elderly woman, when the steamer comes in on Wednesday or Saturday. Occasionally a few girls of about 15 or 17 sit on the strand but only when a boat is due. A few young girls normally wander about the strand, from 5 to 7 or 10, and an odd woman may bring down an ass for turf to the pier, but the bulk of women are absent save at Mass on Sunday – August 1955.

Sean Keating

Words: Nobody’s Business – the Aran Diaries of Ernie O’Malley. Image: Sean Keating.

The Aran Islands are all awash

From Connemara, or the Moher clifftop,

Where the land ends with a sheer drop,

You can see three stepping stones out of Europe.

Anchored like hulls at the dim horizon

Against the winds’ and the waves’s explosion.

That Aran Islands are all awash.

Coastline’s furled in the foam’s white sash.

The clouds melt over them like slush.

And on Galway Bay, between shore and pier,

The ferry plunges to Inis Oírr.

Elizabeth Rivers Stranger in Aran

Words: Seamus Heaney The Evening Land (adapted). Image: Elizabeth Rivers, Stranger in Aran (1946).

 

 

View from the JesseJames seat, Inis Oírr

View from the JesseJames Seat

A view from the JesseJames Seat, located on a beach on Inis Oírr where the artists found inspiration. It is said that this was JesseJames’s favourite seat on Inis Oírr. Situated on Trá Caorach and overlooking An Sunda Ó Dheas, the sound between Inis Oírr and the cliffs of Moher.

 

Inishative with John Shaw-Rimmington

Inish less or inish more
Inish either Inish or
I’m glad I’m back in Inisheer
I think I’ll have a local beer
Inish woman Inish man
On the isles of Aran
The first Irish coming here to live
Really had inishative

Flattish roundish
Start to finish
Upish downish
Outish Inish

Beyond the view beyond the sky
Almost as far as sea can eye
Before my strength and health diminish
I must return once more to Inish

Attractive views here and there
You see a tractor everywhere
Walls of grey
On greenish isle
random walls in feidin style

Mudders here. Children there
Tursty tourists everywhere
You needn’t be a power house
To climb up to the tower house

It isn’t such a real big hastle
To catch a view from yonder castle

It’s worth the trip on the ferry
To Lands of walls of bramble berry

Words and Image: John Shaw-Rimmington

 

Inis Oírr beach and graveyard by John P. Salmen

Inis Oirr beach and graveyard by John P. SalmenLR

Watercolour of Inis Oírr beach and graveyard by John P. Salmen from Maryland, USA.

Inis Oírr is fantastically beautiful, and the images continue to resonate in my mind’s eye. It feels like the survival struggle of all the people on the island, for all those years has imbued the place with significance and importance that somehow comes through, visually.