Now and Then

 

 

Now and Then

by Kate Knowles

 

So much these days about extinction, global warming, species quietly disappearing.
Weary with fear or ambivalent about nature's resilience, whatever your position we are all aware of differences in the world around us.
I'm not fundamentalist about anything except a need to be creative. Within that sphere, that now happily dominates my life, are the subjects of my brush and knife.

There's one little bird that has preoccupied my thoughts for many years.

When I was a child, which could be
nearer to the birth of Our Lord than now, I spent a lot of time with
my mother's youngest sister, Eileen and her husband in
Blennerville, Co. Kerry. Out in what felt like the middle of the Bay
with the canal on one side. A menagerie of sheep, two
Wolfhounds, Yorkshire Terriers and Budgies.
Tipping across the
short grass and sheep droppings to the world below and crabs,
shells, carcass and scurrying, onto the shingle beach.
The ever changing moods and shifting shadows of Mount Brandon and
not forgetting the old shipwreck that disappeared with the tide.
Striking by its changing colour with the tidal drift.

This palette is endlessly paintable,
however, that's not the
most memorable. The sounds.

 

The 'Basin' was being filled in in those days, bringing the seagulls a
little further inland from us, so we had a rich coastal birdlife, a Heron
and Curlews among others. A cacophony in the rivers running in the
sand is my lifelong memory and the sounds.
I often wondered why I love the Curlew. A stranger, not met for many
years, only a distant memory and then only by sound. that sound, the
Curlew's call is the background music of those times, lonely and
lamenting, it sears the soul.

 

I paint Curlews.

I painted the top piece a couple of years ago. A newfound love of
writing for fun brought me to the 'why'. Couldn't explain what was
particularly magnetic about the curlew for me, until now.

Irish Wildlife Trust

webinar

"birds on the edge"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZJZSBfm4gk  

3 comments

  • Beautiful. I love your paintings and the verbal images.

    Siobhàn
  • So evocative Kate and you’ve used one of my favourite words :-) cacophony :-D Do we not get the curlew here anymore at all?

    Norah Deay
  • So evocative Kate and you’ve used one of my favourite words :-) cacophony :-D Do we not get the curlew here anymore at all?

    Norah Deay

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