New to Ireland in1996, my first art project came from my work at the Crann Leitrim office, in Mohill, Co. Leitrim.
In 1997 I wrote the text and completed original illustrations of rare Irish native hedgerow shrubs and trees for a Crann (releafing Ireland) Hedgerow Awareness project I was working on with Noel Kieran, Neil Foulkes and John Matthews. Co-author and forester, Noel Kiernan’s knowledge of Irish forests played an enormous part in bringing this calender project together as well as collecting the specimens.
All illustrations were in ball point pen, and the calendar proved so popular that it went into a second edition.
I’ve never lost my interest in forests and trees since this project – somehow its my link to the forests I miss back in Aoetearoa/New Zealand.
Note the cover illustrations are not mine but are from very old childrens’ Ladybird books.
In 1997 I was awarded an ESB Environmental Endeavour award for my work on this project
In 2005-6 I returned to Leitrim and undertook a commission for The Dock and Crann to create a film and solo exhibition to celebrate Crann’s 20th anniversary and the planting of over 300 acres of broadleaved forests in the area by local people 13 years earlier.
Author John Magahern was one of the first people to be involved in this, the largest community forest planting project supported by the Irish Forest Service in the mid 1980s.
See the Local Project revisited for more details