Quiet Conversations: Paula Meehan / Michael and Barbara Coulthard

Paula Meehan. The poem The Querant is from Meehan’s  2016 collection Geomantic.

Michael and Barbra Coulthard. Farmers and our neighbours in Co. Durham


The top right hand of the painting employs a photography of Flight/Paths: (Her bones…), which I gifted to the Moore Institute at NUI, Galway, in thanks for time spent on a fellowship there. It circles around the interwoven themes of peat, memory and loss that hark back to specific exchanges with Irish artists concerning the complexities of Irish rural life and of the country’s ecological problems. Meehan’s The Querant was a touchstone for that piece, together with the third section of Eavan Boland’s Anna Liffy, which evokes a place of rushes, ling heather, black peat and bracken that I identify with from childhood days spent in the highlands of Scotland. Together they provided a starting-point for the landscape elements of the work.