Tag Archives: Inisheer Zibaldone

if we had a king to rule over us

“It seems to me,” said the Cuckoo, “that things have been going badly with us for some time, and that all would be remedied if we had a king to rule over us. I suggest that we choose a king today.”

Oh, how the birds chirped, and chattered, and peeped at that. The Cuckoo had imagined that they would choose which bird should be king and had in mind one of their own sons. But, each bird was sure that they had royal blood in their veins, and they all began to argue and quarrel about it.

At that time a Rooster and a Hen strutted by and were greatly excited at hearing the commotion. All the birds were talking and arguing.

“Wat? Wat?” clucked the Hen.

“I will go and see,” said the Rooster. He rushed into the midst of the tea party to see what all the hubbub was about. When he found out, he had a plan to offer. He was often called upon to settle disputes among the Hens, so he was always willing give his opinion.

“Have a test! Have a test!” said the Rooster. “You will never decide anything by arguing. The bird who is able to fly the highest shall be your king.”

This seemed a fair way of settling the matter.

The birds lined up and spread their wings. Each flew with all their strength as high as they could, up, up into the air. One by one, though, they dropped back for they did not all have the same strength of wing. The Lark flew higher, indeed, than most of them, but finally he, too, was outstripped by the Eagle, who soared and circled way over their heads.

“The Eagle is our king! The Eagle is king of the birds!” sang all the others.

But, no!

Way, way above the Eagle flew another bird. So tiny. Looking like nothing but a mote, floating in the sunlight. It was the little Jenny Wren. They had hidden themselves in the Eagle’s feathers and had been carried up with him until he could fly no higher. Then the wren had flown higher still.

“I am the king of the birds!” the wren twittered, swooping down over the others.

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and on Sunday morning they were all kneeling on the beach

I described how the dolphins had danced on an evening of silken calm, leaping clear of the water in graceful arcs that crossed in pairs; as I had sat in a little field above the bay to watch, their plunges had been the only sound in the world. He listened to me expressionlessly, then turned his eyes to the dingy window and the dingy sky beyond. “That’s right” he said, and on Sunday morning they were all kneeling on the beach!”

Dolphin Graphic JesseJames Inisheer Zibaldone

Words: Tim Robinson, Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage. Image: detail from Inisheer Zibaldone by JesseJames.

I love Inis Oírr, and Inis Oírr loves me

Plaque and Hat LR

Following in the tradition of Marina Abramović, JesseJames created a performance piece at O’Brien’s Castle during their residency at Aras Éanna on Inis Oírr.

Jessica was “present” in the pitch black vaulted room up at the castle. Tucking her bag behind the gate into the room, she was present, wearing sunglasses and the iconic JesseJames red tam o’shanter. Over time, people peered into the gloom, but could not see the art piece.

Then a young boy looked in and called over his shoulder “here, dad, someone’s left their bags here.” His small figure stood in the dark doorway, uncertain of what to do. He stood a while longer, then reached to Jessica’s bag. From the darkness came a ghostly voice “do not touch the bag.” He jumped six foot into the air. He turned and fled.

A few minutes later, he came back, holding his dad’s hand. “There’s a ghost in there” he whimpered. His dad entered the room and saw Jessica, in red hat and sun glasses, holding “the artist is present” sign. Jessica stood enigmatically, saying nothing. The dad said to his son, matter of factly –” it’s not a ghost, just an artist.”

 

 

 

Cathaoir JesseJames

A seat located on a beach on Inis Oírr where the artists found inspiration.

JesseJames Seat

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, they sat here while they were reflecting on their art.