Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Author Archive

Visiting the Underworld, Dunmore caves, county Kilkenny Ireland

Dunmore caves
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington 2018

The Easter holidays are always a great time to do some different activities and visited some locations I had on my list for sometime.

One of these locations was Dunmore caves in the north of county Kilkenny, the caves are some of the most spectacular – located here in Ireland, with a large entrance hall and a great mix of tunnels and caverns. This time was a great visit, there have been some great guides over the years but our female guide over the weekend was clearly into the geology and environment of the area and of the caves themselves along with the Pagan and Viking (history, myths and beliefs) based around the long time use of these caverns.

One local myth in Kilkenny county revolves around the belief that there is a tunnel that goes all the way from the caves into the center of kilkenny city, possibly used for escape in times when the city was under attack. This tunnel has been searched for many times but never found, so maybe it is just a story but the search goes on.

Dunmore caves facts and History

Dunmore Cave (from Irish Dún Mór, meaning ‘great fort’) is a limestone solutional cave in Ballyfoyle, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It is formed in Lower Carboniferous (Viséan) limestone of the Clogrenan Formation. It is a show cave open to the public, particularly well known for its rich archaeological discoveries and for being the site of a Viking massacre in 928.

Development

Dunmore Cave was designated a National Monument by the Commissioners of Public Works in 1944, but development as a show cave with visitor centre and tours didn’t begin until 1967, at the behest of respected archaeologist and spelaeologist J. C. Coleman. The cave was closed in 2000 for archaeological work and redevelopment, and reopened in 2003.

History

The earliest historical reference to the cave is to be found in the Triads of Ireland, dating from the 14th to the 19th century, where “Úam Chnogba, Úam Slángae and Dearc Fearna” are listed under the heading, “the three darkest places in Ireland”.The last, meaning the “Cave of the Alders,” is generally thought to be the present Dunmore Cave, while the first two translate as the caves of Knowth and Slaney. It is not known which exact system of caves/passage tombs near the river Slaney is being referred to, with the most likely, those at Baltinglass. Other sources translate the listed locations as Rath Croghan, the cave or crypt of Slane and the “Cave of the Ferns”.

In the Annals of the Four Masters, dated to the 17th century, Dearc Fearna was recorded as the site of a great Viking massacre in 928 AD:

“Godfrey Uí Ímair, with the foreigners of Ath Cliath, demolished and plundered Dearc Fearna, where one thousand persons were killed in this year as is stated in the quatrain:

Nine hundred years without sorrow, twenty-eight, it has been proved, ‘Since Christ came to our relief, to the plundering of Dearc-Fearna.”

Gofraith, ua h-Iomhair, co n-Gallaibh Atha Cliath, do thoghail & do orgain Derce Fearna,
airm in ro marbhadh míle do dhaoinibh an bhliadhain-si, amhail as-berar isin rann,

Naoi c-céd bliadhain gan doghra,
a h-ocht fichet non-dearbha,
o do-luidh Criost dár c-cobhair
co toghail Derce Ferna.

While the human remains found in the cave are thought to be victims of the Viking massacre, this has not been reliably confirmed. Many of the remains belong to women and children, and it is hypothesised that they are the bodies of people hiding in the cave who were unable to leave when the Vikings tried to smoke them out, dying from asphyxiation.

Archaeological study

The earliest writings on the cave of an archaeological nature came from the bishop George Berkeley, whose report dated 1706 detailed a visit that he made to the cave as a boy. The essay was not published until 1871. In 1869 Arthur Wynne Foot, a physician, made an archaeological visit to the cave with Rev. James Graves and Peter Burtchaell and discovered large quantities of human remains, which they collected. In his reports, Foot meticulously documented his findings, and culled references from the writings of researchers over the preceding 120 years.

In 1999, a hoard of 43 silver and bronze items was discovered in a rocky cleft deep in the cave. Archaeologists dated this hoard, consisting of silver, ingots and conical buttons woven from fine silver, to 970 AD.

Dunmore caves
Visitors center
Count Kilkenny
Ireland
Nigel Borrington 2018


TTOPOLOGY – Dennis McNulty, at the Carlow Visual arts center – OMG I am so confused about Contemporary art ?

This afternoon I took sometime off and visited the County Carlow , Center for Visual arts, having read a description of an exhibition by the Contemporary artist Dennis McNulty LINK HERE!.

Its about a month since I last visited this Gallery, when I did I came away as so often just a little confused as to just what I had witnessed? the work consisted of a single image of a sunset that did not change for 30mins (maybe the video was frozen?) to the sound of bird song in the background!

The latest Exhibition By Dennis McNulty I am afraid to say just left me with the same head scratching feeling, it was described as follows

Dennis McNulty
TTOPOLOGY
03 February – 20 May
TTOPOLOGY, an exhibition of new and retrospective works by Dennis McNulty considers the technologies and systems that have been developed, cast aside, or revised in order to advance our human potential. Coupling technology and art, McNulty explores the fields of science, engineering, built environment, retro technologies and future possibilities. See this link for more details ……

——-

All my life I have been a lover of art , a viewer of many forms of artistic expression, open minded and well able so soak in new ideas – yet I feel it must be many years since a visit to an art exhibition from a currently working artist has produced anything other than a feeling of massive disappointment and total confusion as to the state of modern art.

Personally I feel the time has come for me to stop looking deeper and doing my very best to find that small percentage of good – within the work I take the time to go and see!

I feel its time that the art loving public as a whole start to make it very clear that we are getting sick and a little drawn out with looking at exhibitions that we are just meant to get or at the very least in some way forgive the artist for because at the end of the day, well they art artists aren’t they! and they get something we don’t?.

Fact is however Most people who walk away from a modern art exhibition these days do so with nothing other than confusion if not a little anger, because basically they feel cheated, let down and taken for fools!

I have felt for a long time that currently working modern artists have no interest what so ever in what the viewers of their work think, In fact I wonder just who they are producing their work for? it cannot be for the 99% of the public! I don’t feel that its acceptable any longer to just act as if its the responsibility of the viewing public to get on board or just be dismissed because they don’t get what is at the end of the day trashy, Lazy and ill conceived work!

From my basic understanding of formal art study, artists spend four to five years in an art school taking a degree of some form. During this period the work they produce can be of many kinds and make use of many forms of artistic media, this type of work by itself should not and does not need to be presentable to the public. At the end of each academic year there is usually an end of year show building up-to the final degree show held as a presentation of the students work put forward as their final degree submission.

When you understand these levels that go into passing an art degree, maybe just maybe you can start to understand the kind of work your looking at in some current art exhibitions!

There is also another factor that the viewing art minded public needs to understand and that is that many art tutors in art school are required to hold their own exhibitions each year so that they can show that they are at the very least practicing artists and not just a teacher. Still however these artists work relates in form very closely to the kind of experimental work produced during art school study , basically because these tutors are the very people who are judging their students work!

So here are some questions !

Is the art work that most of the public views in public galleries these days, no more than art school/student level and experimental level work and not the work of professional artists would have not only passed an art course of some kind but also spent many years building on their art study to become a professional artist and with an understanding of the real world?

If this is the case, then would it be fair to say that the confusion around modern art is that we are just not being told about the level at which the artists involved in some if not most of the exhibitions we see, site in their level and progression of work ?

My own feelings are that, the current type of modern art works that I view in most of the exhibitions I take time to go and see, is for me personally for whatever reason basically lazy, fuzzy, repetitive and unacceptable ( well under worked, not over worked for sure!) IMO!. I feel that Modern art finds itself in a position where it is being produced for other reasons than for my pleasure as a viewer of it! I also wonder if the formal art world is not just feading on itself until there is basically nothing left and the bottle is empty!

Will I keep going to art exhibitions, Hell yes! just in the hope that one day I get to see something that I truly do understand and end up walking out of the door once again with a smile on my face !

If Dennis McNulty ever reads this post, not likely ! I have respect that your putting your work out there , its just not for ME!!!

Gallery of an exhibition.


Now the Snow has gone, it’s springtime at the River. Spring On The River, Poem By Archibald Lampman


Down by the banks of river suir
County Tipperary
Nigel Borrington 2018

Spring On The River

By Archibald Lampman

O sun, shine hot on the river;
For the ice is turning an ashen hue,
And the still bright water is looking through,
And the myriad streams are greeting you
With a ballad of life to the giver,
From forest and field and sunny town,
Meeting and running and tripping down,
With laughter and song to the river.

Oh! the din on the boats by the river;
The barges are ringing while day avails,
With sound of hewing and hammering nails,
Planing and painting and swinging pails,
All day in their shrill endeavor;
For the waters brim over their wintry cup,
And the grinding ice is breaking up,
And we must away down the river.

Oh! the hum and the toil of the river;
The ridge of the rapid sprays and skips:
Loud and low by the water’s lips,
Tearing the wet pines into strips,
The saw mill is moaning ever.
The little grey sparrow skips and calls
On the rocks in the rain of the water falls,
And the logs are adrift in the river.

Oh! restlessly whirls the river;
The rivulets run and the cataract drones:
The spiders are flitting over the stones:
Summer winds float and the cedar moans;
And the eddies gleam and quiver.
O sun; shine hot, shine long and abide
In the glory and power of the summer tide
On the swift longing face of the river.


Landscape Video, Underwater test shots , Kings River, Kells, Kilkenny

I have just started experimenting with some underwater video making using a Yi Action camera, here are my first two samples


Happy St Patricks day to everyone …..

Ardgroom Stone Circle, County Cork,
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Over the last few years, On each St Patricks day I have posted a collection of Landscape images all featuring the amazing views this country has to offer.

This county : Ireland, for me is all about the great outdoors and the Landscape It has offer.

While I know many people will spend a great deal of today inside, in Pubs and watching Sport on the TV, Many will love to take time off and walk, run or cycle and with the countryside that Ireland has to offer ! why not :), personally thats what I will be doing, then later afterwards in the evening it will be time – around our fire for a game of card,some food and drink with our friends 🙂

Happy St Patricks day everyone , what every you do !!!!!

Sharing the great Irish Landscape on St Patrick’s day 2018 : A gallery

20

The Hell Fire Club
Mount Pelier Hill
Irish Landscape Images
Nigel Borrington 2018

The Sheepdog
County Cork
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Snow clouds
Nigel Borrington

Glendalough
county Wexford
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

There is so much colour in the World
Nigel Borrington

[caption id="attachment_15910" align="alignright" width="950"] Irish Landscape Images GarryDuff county Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Irish History
Kells Priory
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

A bumble bee in flight
Ballykeefe nature reserve
County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

End of the Winter Solstice 2017
Nigel Borrington

Killarney National Park Nigel Borrington
Irish landscapes

March on the river banks
River Suir
County Tipperary
Nigel Borrington

Swans at Oak Park
County Carlow
Nigel Borrington[

Otters of the River Suir
County Tipperary
Nigel Borrington

Birds of Irish folk law
The Robin
Nigel Borrington

November 2016

Winter and the Crows
Slievenamon
County Tipperary
Nigel Borrington

November rain
Nigel Borrington


Friday Poetry – River Ghosts, By: Chris Smedbakken

Gazing into the Stars
Wishing for what there could never be
“All of the stars I dedicate to thee,
the spirits of the forest and the songs of the sea”

She, the River Ghost of his long lost dreams,
singing mournful songs among the silent streams
Pale, dark eyes uplit by white moonlight beams
Beware, the fate of her is not what is seems

Frozen flowers, sunset eves
Deathcold breeze in the icy leaves
Autumn goddess surrenders and then she leaves
for Lady Frost to conquer a world that grieves

Her the River gave in to and turned to ice
Restless fay gave up a scream towards the pale blue skies
Fooled by a vision of Winter in disguise,
she lies down to final sleep in the white of her despise

He, the sun, weeps silently at her lonely grave
The lost dreams did not die with the River wave
Missing, longing for the water’s song, the happiness it gave
The sun mourned the frozen River, that its warm light could not save


The Fisherman – Poem by William Butler Yeats

The Fisherman – Poem by William Butler Yeats

ALTHOUGH I can see him still.
The freckled man who goes
To a grey place on a hill
In grey Connemara clothes
At dawn to cast his flies,
It’s long since I began
To call up to the eyes
This wise and simple man.

All day I’d looked in the face
What I had hoped ‘twould be
To write for my own race
And the reality;
The living men that I hate,
The dead man that I loved,
The craven man in his seat,
The insolent unreproved,
And no knave brought to book

Who has won a drunken cheer,
The witty man and his joke
Aimed at the commonest ear,
The clever man who cries
The catch-cries of the clown,
The beating down of the wise
And great Art beaten down.

Maybe a twelvemonth since
Suddenly I began,
In scorn of this audience,
Imagining a man,
And his sun-freckled face,
And grey Connemara cloth,
Climbing up to a place
Where stone is dark under froth,
And the down-turn of his wrist

When the flies drop in the stream;
A man who does not exist,
A man who is but a dream;
And cried, ‘Before I am old
I shall have written him one
poem maybe as cold
And passionate as the dawn.’

William Butler Yeats


Lighthouse Poetry : “The Lighthouse Keeper” by Phil Lindsey Jun 2015

Hook head lighthouse
at dusk
County Wexford
Nigel Borrington

Phil Lindsey Jun 2015
The Lighthouse Keeper

The keeper of illumination
Aye, the keeper of the light
Safety first, his fascination
Dusk to evening through the night.

Aye, the keeper of the light,
Every season, every day
Dusk to evening, through the night
He tends the beacon, shows the way.

Every season, every day
Climbs thirteen flights of thirteen stairs
He tends the beacon, shows the way
The Fresnel lantern he prepares.

Climbs thirteen flights of thirteen stairs
Skyward, toward the landing high
The Fresnel lantern he prepares
Lighthouse beacon must not die.

Skyward, toward the landing high
Strike the match, produce the spark
Lighthouse beacon must not die.
Guides ships safely through the dark.

Strike the match, produce the spark
Safety first, his fascination
Guides ships safely through the dark
The keeper of illumination.
Phil Lindsey 6/25/15


Irish Lighthouses : Valentia Island Lighthouse, in 10 images

Valentia Island Lighthouse

Built on the site of a 17th century fort, Valentia Island Lighthouse on Cromwell Point has stood against sea and invader for hundreds of years. Now, this gleaming white lighthouse on beautiful Valentia Island looks out across some of the most spectacular sights along the Wild Atlantic Way.

There’s much to enjoy in a visit to this lighthouse. Take a tour of the lighthouse tower and balcony. Be blown away by the dramatic scenery and big weather! Soak up the stories and the science as you learn about the people and technology that have guided ships safely home from sea over the years.

Valentia Island Lighthouse offers a great day out: fascinating history, inspiring views and a unique insight into island life.

A quick history

Valentia Island Lighthouse sits on the site of the 17th century Cromwell Fleetwood Fort, which guarded against the threat of invaders right up to the 19th century. You can still see the cannons overlooking the harbour.

The lighthouse was designed by George Halpin Senior, one of the most famous civil engineers of the time. The light was first exhibited in 1841.
A lighthouse keeper lived with his family on site until 1947, when the lighthouse was automated.


Snow on Curracloe Beach, County Wexford, March 2018

Snow on Curracloe Beach
County Wexford
Following Storm Emma
Nigel Borrington