Le Chéile Information

Ros Longwill

I started painting twenty five years ago when I lived in Essex. As I moved around England the painting and gardening were constant companions. I have done lots of different things from keeping pigs to sign-writing. I had a period of teaching horticulture then moved to Ireland sixteen years ago with my family. I became a clown and studied performing arts and went round with a red nose for about a year. I then decided it was probably time to be a proper grown up and started teaching art which I did for about ten years and only gave up two years ago. I started Print making about eight years ago when my students went to have a workshop with Margaret Becker and ended up knowing considerably more than me. I took myself off to have some private lessons and quickly became completely hooked. I now spend all my artistic time printing but still enjoy gardening and have a few cows.

The Le Chéile collaboration interests me because it brings together different strands of what together means to each of us. At Nant Gwtheyrn there was much talk of language, memories of place, family and a unique sense of identity. Nant Gwtheyrn is a powerful place and the history and atmosphere contained there links into some of these strands. The lost community was tied to the work and the land. This is something I came across when collecting material for work about the bog in Ireland. It is interesting how the landscape can be shaped by a manmade intervention. The bog railway track, pile of turf or in the case of Nant Gwtheyrn the huge remains of mining and quarrying equipment are testimony to the work. The reversion and dereliction of an abandoned workplace brings those memories and that emptiness back. These are some of the ideas I am trying to explore at the moment.