“…for peace comes dropping slow…”

Lightwriters at Carrane Hill, Sligo, Ireland. Photo credit: Darren Carr

Word-images have become a contemporary mainstream art form. Serious street graffiti is said to have had its birth in my own home town of Philadelphia in the 1960’s and 70’s.

I’ve lived in Ireland for more than 20 years. During most of this time I’ve been tinkering with sign writing, calligraphic painting, artists’ books and books made digitally or with light. I think I’ve outgrown my earlier prejudice that only Eastern calligraphies resonate with spiritual or cultural frequencies. Making a short film in Sligo, Ireland during this last year has convinced me that that “vibe” exists in all cultures.

At the moment, I live in a location in the Northwest of Ireland made famous by the poet W.B. Yeats, (who was a known dabbler in metaphysics). He called this place the “land of heart’s desire”. So I got to wondering: what if this landscape could become a natural page on which the people from this place could inscribe in light, something that connected them to this place?

Yeats’ poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree is an incantation of his childhood memories, written about this area, and about a tiny island that sits on Logh Gill. On two lovely days in June of 2010, more than 70 people accepted an invitation to gather at three locations (including his lovely Lake Isle) that are rich in history and beauty, to perform what was at first, an experiment. Over the course of 18 hours “…for peace comes dropping slow…” unfolded in large forms of light, water and reflection from the hands of people of all ages and from this area, Sligo Peace and Reconciliation and Peace III in Northern Ireland.

Parke’s Castle at Lough Gill and the Lake Isle of Innisfree. Photo credit: Cian de Buitléar D.O.P.

It was a privilege to work with great people during the making of this film. Cian de Buitléar’s cinematography is stunning, Tony Kearns‘ film editing really helped to tell this story, Darren Carr’s stills are iconic and the vocals of Seamie O’Dowd would, on their own, prove the argument that a fragment of cultural mark from anywhere on this globe – whether visual or audial – does indeed carry the hologram, of that culture.

We are off to The New Hope Film Festival, where “…for peace comes dropping slow…” will be screened in the coming week. I hope you will enjoy this peak at the film: http://bit.ly/p3q1o0