Waterford Walls 2018

Waterford Walls

Once again the streets of Waterford became an art gallery as the Waterford Walls festival brought in another 48 works that transformed the look of the city. I had a few days to catch a glimpse of some artists, and enjoyed the completed work when I returned from my trip.

Youri Cansell, aka Mantra (France), is famous for his nature-themed works, but for this festival he painted an image of street artist. What a thoughtful gift! I hope it has a long life – it is already loved here. You see a gentleman in my picture enjoy mimicking the painted artist. The work is sponsored by Ambassador of France in Ireland.

Here are some links to my previous Waterford Walls posts : 2015, 2016, 2017. Ah, and some more 🙂 Now I will take you around our ‘art gallery’.

Kevin Bohan  is a full time artist and illustrator based in Dublin ( Kevin Bohan Arts). If you open my 2017 link, there is a picture of his mural, The Love Hearts.

This time, Kevin is painting a Rainbow Serpent, freehand. He says the wall will guide him.

Kevin advises me to come again Sunday and have my hand painted as part of the mural. He explains that the mural is a collaboration project that will include the artworks of two national school students.

I show up Sunday ( wouldn’t miss the chance) and lovely Sarah assists me with the hand painting.

The mural is sponsored by the Australian Embassy in Dublin ( Kevin used the aboriginal painting techniques in this work).

Finished work.

Several mural artists share Stephen street, it is why I like to come here. Toronto/Dubai based artist Fathima Mohiuddin, aka Fats Patrol, is working next to Kevin.

All geared up.

Fats is painting this bold and fearless owl for a reason. It represents female energy and connection between the nature and human spirit. Fats is currently pursuing a diploma in Art Therapy in Toronto.

The finished work.

Irish artist Lisa Murphy.

Shuk, graffiti artist from Ireland. Harsh midday shadows added the silhouette at the bottom of the painting 🙂

RASK (Ireland) and Bo Pedersen (Denmark) teamwork.

While I was hanging around taking pictures, Bo was working away and minding his own business.  A disputatious elderly man approached him and started to challenge his knowledge of art and purpose of graffiti. When (quite arrogantly) asked about his education, Bo replied that he actually has a degree in Arts. The man was stunned. “Then you are more educated than I” he exclaimed in disbelief, and left visibly deflated. Graffiti rocks 🙂

The finished wall.

Louise McKenna (Ireland).

Louis Masai is a painter, sculptor, illustrator and street artist based in London. He is best known for his vivid murals of patchwork animals.

The finished work.

Graciela Goncalves Da Silva, aka Animalitoland, Argentina. She is a self taught illustrator and graphic designer, second time painting at the Waterford Walls.

Garreth Joyce, Graphic artist based in Dublin.

Louis Boirdon and Edouard Egea, aka MonkeyBird (France), a street team sharing their self-created mythology (the monkey stands for realism, the bird for dreams). The Castle on the Cliff – a fascinating stencil creation is the duo’s gift to Waterford.

Wandering around the town I came across that guy who was painting over a still presentable mural, the work of the Mexican artist KINMX. He said the wall had been allocated for a new Joe Caslin’s work. I wondered if we were suddenly short of the old walls, but fair enough, the murals don’t live forever, and a quality work of a renowned artist is always a bonus. However, I started to worry about the Birdo’s work in the same location. And I was right to worry. Birdo’s work is no more. No comments.

Joe Caslin is using his murals for social change. I don’t know if you are familiar with his nearly identical mural I couldn’t say No

The Neon Waves mural by Dan Kitchener, aka DANK, is also painted over the last year’s work by DMC. It looks amazing. People still stop and stare at the neon beauty – rainy Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Another stunner is Eira and the White Tiger by Sonny, British-born artist from South Africa. We already have his Neon Tiger painted last year.

The Stop sign is real!

A few more works in my reach. Spaceship by Shane Sutton Art.

Waterford Walls

Mr Cenz, based in London. New at Waterford Walls.

Lost Optics (Romania).

Our tour ends at the Waterford Walls HQ where UK based artist Peachzz is trying to set up an Octopus Lair.

The following day.

The other end of the lair. Looks fascinating.

Waterford Walls

The HQ building and the wall by Curtis Hylton. Thank you for visiting Waterford Walls festival!

Well, it was a huge post, hope you were not too tired walking with me. If you still have energy left after our excursion, please visit and enjoy Resa McConaghy’s blog Graffiti Lux and Murals

 

 Have a wonderful weekend!

How I met Muriel

For a change, this post is about the American Southwest. I have written about this part of the world before: Bryce Canyon, Arches and Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and my childhood memories  and other posts. This post is also related to my childhood.

I have been a reader since the age of four, but my love for reading took off when I started Elementary and discovered our school library. There were no age limits – teenage book section was at my disposal. I judged the books by the cover – it is how I came across The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry, and Johnny became my role model 🙂 I loved the intelligent humor of these books, but some stories broke my little heart. One of these stories is Jimmy Hayes and Muriel. I have read this story countless times when I felt like crying, and it always worked. It is a short story, and if you haven’t read it yet, here it is:

Jimmy Hayes and Muriel

A short story by O. Henry

Supper was over, and there had fallen upon the camp the silence that accompanies the rolling of corn-husk cigarettes. The water hole shone from the dark earth like a patch of fallen sky. Coyotes yelped. Dull thumps indicated the rocking-horse movements of the hobbled ponies as they moved to fresh grass. A half-troop of the Frontier Battalion of Texas Rangers were distributed about the fire.

A well-known sound — the fluttering and scraping of chaparral against wooden stirrups — came from the thick brush above the camp. The rangers listened cautiously. They heard a loud and cheerful voice call out reassuringly:

“Brace up, Muriel, old girl, we’re ‘most there now! Been a long ride for ye, ain’t it, ye old antediluvian handful of animated carpet-tacks? Hey, now, quit a tryin’ to kiss me! Don’t hold on to my neck so tight — this here paint hoss ain’t any too shore-footed, let me tell ye. He’s liable to dump us both off if we don’t watch out.”

Two minutes of waiting brought a tired “paint” pony single-footing into camp. A gangling youth of twenty lolled in the saddle. Of the “Muriel” whom he had been addressing, nothing was to be seen. Read more

Jimmy’s fate didn’t concern me for some reason. I cried for his little loyal Muriel.

An encyclopedia found in the same school library gave me idea about Muriel’s looks and classification, but I have never met the creature in person, until last summer.

A part of a lovely weekend spent in our friends’ St. George house was a trip to desert. We took some dirt roads and short hikes to give our little explorers the feel of wilderness.

Utah

There were lizards and insects to admire. I am not sure, but I think it is a Locust and a Mormon cricket. They were huge.

Many wildflowers had passed their peak, but some were still in bloom: Globe mallow, Prickly poppy, Desert buckwheat and some cacti.

Utah

Utah

Utah

It was on our way back when I noticed something under a sage bush. I rolled the window down and my heart skipped a beat. I took a picture and zoomed to make sure it was not a mistake. It wasn’t. I finally met Muriel.

I cannot tell that it is exactly the horned lizard species from the story, but it is the closest I could get to meeting my Muriel. It has been some 50 years…

The lizard didn’t move. It was a very hot day, and I didn’t want to bother the creature and force a photo session on it. I was already happy enough.


Some pomegranate flowers spotted in St. George to brighten your day.

There are six bloggers whose blogs I really want you to visit. As this post was basically about the short story that has been stuck in my head for 50 something years, I want to share the books I have read recently ( or about to start reading ), and their authors. I have read every book of these authors and look forward to the new releases.

Science fiction and fantasy writer Craig Boyack  –  The Yak Guy Project was the first book I opened after several months of abstinence from reading. I truly enjoyed the protagonist’s journey towards maturity.

Science fiction writer Sarah Higbee   –  Book #3 Breathing Space of Sarah’s trilogy Sunblinded is a fantastic sequel and I hope for more books in the future.

Historical fiction writer Millie Thom  –  I am currently reading Millie’s Book #3 Wyvern of Wessex of the Sons of Kings trilogy. This is a completely engrossing read, from start to finish.

Fantasy writer Diana Wallace Peach  –   Legacy Of SoulsThe Shattered Sea Book #2 was recently released, and I cannot wait to open it. Soul swallowers are the most fascinating Diana’s creations so far (You read about them in Book #1)

Young adult fantasy writer’s Jean Lee’s blog is a magical place that is very difficult to leave. You just want to read one more article, then another… Recently, Jean nominated me for the Liebster Award, a great friend she is. Visit Jean’s Book page – read her new novel and short stories.

Artist and author Resa McConaghy  – Nine Black Lives, a detective novel, my latest read. Resa’s knowledge of the film industry makes the book stand out. It is a very intriguing piece with much potential for many sequels to come.

Hope you find new friends and amazing books.

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a happy weekend!

Hello from the Foxes

Grainne the Fox

As I was driving through Thomastown last month, I thought I could stop by at Pat Gibbons’ house and get the latest updates. Those who don’t know Pat The Fox Man, can read his story here. This story has been copied and pasted so many times that I gave up being annoyed.

Fortunately, Pat was home, we spent a few minutes visiting and went to the fox pen. It was about 4 pm, one hour before the foxes are let inside for the evening, and I didn’t want to make them upset by dragging them out for a picture. Minnie was already whining, overreacting like the drama queen she is. Nothing is ever right for poor Minnie 🙂

Minnie the Fox

It took a lot of flattering ( ‘who’s a good girl?’) and a prolonged shoulder massage to get her to lift her ‘ cheerful’ face to me for a picture. Not that I am complaining here. Minnie is all soft and lovely, and it is only a pleasure petting her thick silky fur.

Minnie the Fox

Divas are allowed to have a bad day. When she is ready, you behold a star 🙂

Pat and his foxes

Two years ago Minnie got pregnant by Henry. Pat was not in condition to care for another fox, and a woman from Kilkenny adopted the kit. I asked Pat how was the little fox doing. Visibly saddened by the question Pat said that the kit has died. He recons it was something about food. Fox is neither a dog nor a cat. Pat gives them chicken legs and beef mince, but they also have ‘extras’ like snails, worms, wild berries.

Pat speaks about commitment and dedication one must have if they plan on keeping a rescued fox. Foxes are creatures of habit and they need their routine. Every day at 5 pm Pat brings them into the house, and it has to be 5pm, sharp.

Recently their friend, the old dog Blackie, was hit by car and died. Pat got a new pup, this time a snow white one, but the foxes don’t mind the color 🙂 The pup is very playful which is just fine with the foxes.

Pat Gibbons

Henry wasn’t in a good mood and run away from us to his enclosure. A couple of month ago he bit Pat’s hand. As Pat explains, he was picking him up and accidentally pressed on his bad paw. It was just a reaction, and Henry himself was probably terrified, as he is so gentle and sweet. Pat got blood poisoning and had to spent 6 days in the hospital. No hard feelings though. Henry got 60 stitches on his head and body when he was mauled by dogs, Pat explains. He must have very sore paw as his leg never straightened out. The dogs badly mauled his jaw and his left eye.

Henry the fox

Beautiful Grainne sits in her favorite corner. Each fox has their favorite place in the pen. She is about 12, and has a lot of silver in her fur, but she is still playful, and performs her usual tricks on demand.

Grainne the Fox

Grainne the Fox

Good girl!

Grainne the Fox

This is an old picture I took of Grainne and Minnie.

Pat and his foxes

Pat often takes them out to Thomastown. Foxes walk on a leash and stop to let people pet them. Meanwhile, Pat shares his thoughts on the wild life preservation. The foxes sometimes get invited to schools. Recently they got a shop opening ceremony invitation.

After leaving the fox pen we talk for another few minutes, and hiding behind the grass, I take some pictures of Pat’s gorgeous chickens.

rooster

rooster

hen

hen

hen

hen

hen

hen

The puppy cannot wait for me to start my car – it will be the highlight of his day 🙂 Thankfully, he doesn’t jump on the road.

I hope to see them all in December.

Pat Gibbons

My other blog posts about Pat and his foxes:

https://inesemjphotography.com/2015/08/04/all-creatures/

https://inesemjphotography.com/2014/04/06/kindness/

https://inesemjphotography.com/2017/01/27/pat-and-his-foxes/

 

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a fantastic weekend!

Spraoi 2018 – Scotch is back!

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

For those who don’t know yet, Spraoi is a free street festival taking place every August bank holiday weekend in Waterford, Ireland. I have written a good few posts about Spraoi, some of them can be found on this page. Spraoi is back once again, and so is Scotch!

Last August I featured the Dutch party band Scotch in one of my Spraoi related blog posts. An established favorite in Waterford, the band is celebrating their 15th anniversary this year. Way to go, Scotch!

This is Tim. He wasn’t with the band in Waterford last year.

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

Sam and Nathan,

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

Wouter and Sjoerd,

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

and Juno ( cute pout, man 🙂 )

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

I didn’t get a decent picture of Jochem that time, but bear with me.

Hi Wouter! Glad to see you and the guys. How does it feel to be on the Waterford soil again?

We really enjoyed to be back at Spraoi! It’s starting to feel a bit like home 🙂

How was your year since the last Spraoi? Any news?

The last year we’ve been mostly on the road. Have been touring every other month to a total of 12 different countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, France, Czech Republic, Croatia, England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

It is a very impressive list. Delighted for you and for those who were lucky to hear you perform. Sad that Sam won’t be touring Europe with the band any more. Why this decision? Do you have another violinist lined up?

Sam decided there’s no room in his life to play in a band. It’s too demanding to run a family, have a day job and tour all over Europe. It has been harsh but in the last months we’ve found our way to deal with it. There will be a new violinist, and starting next week we will be performing a new show. Looking forward to that!

So do I and all your fans. Thank you!

So, the rest of this post is dedicated to Sam who has been with the band from its first day.

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

For his solo number, Sam left the stage and mingled with the crowd. It didn’t take him long to make everybody dance 🙂

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

The band had another two gigs scheduled for the weekend, and I came over to Kazbar to take some pictures in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

It is where I had a chance to take a proper picture of Jochem sporting a platinum mane. You can rock any style, Jochem 🙂

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

More pictures of Sam ( ah it is so so sad)

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

 

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

With his fans, one more time.

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

There was that sad beautiful stranger who had been standing there and showing no interest in the gig whatsoever.

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

But who can resist Wouter’s charm? I am sure she smiled back 🙂

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

Grand finale!

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

The audience was so large that I decided to take a picture of the part of it that was reflected in the roof mirror.

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

Thank you Scotch!

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/scotchtheband/

Website: http://www.scotchtheband.com/

Booking info:

Scotch
booking@scotchtheband.com
t+31 6 12 42 70 77

Spraoi 2018 Scotch

Some more from Spraoi in my blog in November.

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a great weekend!

Visiting Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is a popular tourist destination and place worth to visit, especially since photography is allowed.

The history of Kilkenny Castle dates back to the 12th century. As my previous post was dedicated to the Vikings, let’s start from there.

First recorded raid by Norwegian Vikings happened in 795. Among the attacked monasteries was the one on the Skeillig Michael Island – the star location of The Last Jedi movie, and home for a Puffin colony. In 902 Irish kings joined forces to expel the Vikings from Ireland but it didn’t happen until the 12th century when they took control over the Viking towns and wisely decided to let them flourish as centres of international trade. The descendants of Vikings are last mentioned in the Irish historic records in 1311.

The Kings had disputes between them. In 1167, notorious King of Leinster Dermot MacMurrough was deprived of his kingdom by the High King of Ireland Rory O’Connor and fled to France. To recover his kingdom he gained the military support of the Earl Richard de Clare, known as “Strongbow” who agreed to lead his army to Ireland, took control over the East coast, and in exchange for his aid married MacMurrough’s daughter Aoife in August 1170, the day after the capture of Waterford.

In 1172, Strongbow built a wooden tower overlooking the River Nore. It is when the history of Kilkenny Castle begins.

Twenty years later, his son-in-law William Marshal erected the four towered stone castle on the site, of which three towers still remain.

I just have to tell a few words about this remarkable man. A younger son of a minor nobleman, William had to make his own way in life. He began his training as a knight at the age of twelve, and was knighted eight years later. He married Aoife and Strongbow’s only daughter Isabel when she was 18 and he was over 40, and their marriage was long and happy. Thanks to the marriage, he inherited vast amount of land in Wales and Ireland and became one of the richest and most powerful men. William had served five kings as a military advisor praised for his wisdom and honesty, survived many battles and died a Knight’s Templar, aged 72. Archbishop of Canterbury called him the greatest knight who had ever lived.

In 1317, the de Clare family sold Kilkenny Castle to Hugh Despenser who unfortunately got himself hanged, drawn and quartered. In 1391, the castle was seized by Richard II and sold to the Butler family who occupied the castle from 1391 until 1935. After the Butlers sold all the furnishing in 1935, the castle began to fall into disrepair. In 1967, James Arthur Butler, 6th Marquess of Ormonde, sold the castle to the city of Kilkenny for 50 pounds.  At the key handover ceremony, young Mick Jagger made appearance dressed in some sort of cape. There is a photograph of him and a young lady, both holding paper plates with snacks.

Here you can read about the development of the castle under the Butler family.

I am sharing a few photographs to showcase amazing restoration work done to bring the castle to life again.

The Dining room.

Kilkenny Castle

The Withdrawing room. The ladies withdrew from the Dining room leaving the men to enjoy their port and cigars.

Kilkenny Castle

The Library.

Kilkenny Castle

The Tapestry room.

Kilkenny Castle

Blue bedroom.

Kilkenny Castle

This remarkable item is much bigger than the modern ones. It dates from 1904 and is original to the castle.

Kilkenny Castle

The Victorian Nursery. This room had remained unopened to the public since used by the Butler family in the 1950s, until 2014.

Kilkenny Castle

Looks creepy to me 🙂

Kilkenny Castle

I don’t know what is the name of this room, but I love the aquamarine furniture and wallpaper.

Kilkenny Castle

Couldn’t miss taking a bird view picture of the Castle back yard with St Canice’s Cathedral and Black Abbey in background.

Kilkenny Castle

The Moorish Staircase, on the way to the Picture Gallery.

Kilkenny Castle

And this is the magnificent Picture Gallery built in the early 19th century.

Initially the gallery was built with flat roof that started leaking shortly after its completion. The new roof was criticized for its Byzantine looks, but I don’t see any problem with that 🙂

Kilkenny Castle

Original picture collection consisted of almost 200 ancestral and royal paintings and pastoral landscapes. I didn’t take photographs of the paintings because they were artificially lit and the light reflected from the surface creating spots. I wonder if such light can be damaging.

In the gallery there are some pieces of furniture, tapestry and a beautiful marble fireplace.

Kilkenny Castle

All the information about the ticket prices and hours you can find on the Kilkenny Castle website that will be timely updated, unlike this post 🙂

And this is what Kilkenny Castle looks from the other side of the lawn.

Kilkenny Castle

I hope you enjoyed the excursion.

PS The images of the castle interior used in this post are not for sale.

www.inesemjphotography.com Have a wonderful weekend!