Thursday, 28 February 2019

From the archive drawer



three quirky images of County Kerry
© Teresa Newham

Recently I've re-organised the storage of my linocuts and photos, creating something of an archive in the process. It's been a useful and interesting exercise - not to mention an excellent displacement activity for artists' block - as well as a trip down memory lane.


early experiments with printmaking
© Teresa Newham

I'd forgotten the obsession with water and reflections which characterised some of my first attempts to move beyond taking holiday snaps; together with my love of quirky shots, water is still one of my favourite subjects.


obsessed by water
© Teresa Newham

My early linocuts were almost all reductions - ambitious, but I was swept away by my enthusiasm for the exciting medium I'd just discovered.  Looking back, I'm quite pleased with the results, although at the time I didn't think much of them, longing to run before I could walk.


a liking for squares
© Teresa Newham

If I took several photos of something, chances were I'd put them together in some kind of collection.  Who knew the centres of tulips could be so fascinating? or close-ups of seaweed? or different versions of the same shot, played about with?


multiple madness
© Teresa Newham

The linocuts in the archive drawer may be deceptive: often the archived version is a poor representative, the only one in the edition not good enough to sell. How I wish I'd kept some of the better ones back . . .


some not so perfect bird prints
© Teresa Newham

There are some treasures, though; happy memories and examples of photos and prints which were extremely popular in their time.  The ones shown here are all at least six years old, and it's good to see them get an airing again!


more of my most popular photos
© Teresa Newham





Thursday, 14 February 2019

brollies and blessings



the Basilica viewed from between the trees
© Teresa Newham

Once again I'd been looking forward to the annual Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes for Our Lady's feast day (11th February).  The twelve of us travelled light, but  packed for every eventuality; Lourdes sits in the foothills of the Pyrenees with its own micro-climate, so waterproofs and good shoes are a must.


nothing daunts the pilgrim to Lourdes
© Teresa Newham

This year we had a mixture of sunshine and showers; and some torrential rain as we prayed the open air Stations of the Cross.  The hairdryer in my hotel room came in handy for drying my socks and boots and gloves.  The sturdy rain mac I bought in Lourdes on an early visit covered the rest of me . . .


photo opp at Our Lady's statue
© Teresa Newham

We had daily Mass and, on the feast day itself, joined around 20,000 fellow pilgrims for an international Mass and a blessing of the sick, both in several languages. We went to the baths and to confession, prayed at the grotto and lit candles for the many people who had asked us to pray for them.


a priest, some nuns, a bemused onlooker
© Teresa Newham

The schedule also allowed for shopping; there are all sorts of shops in Lourdes, some of which sell the most amazing tat, often alongside beautiful religious artefacts.  I learnt long ago not to write off any of them; you'll find something, whether it's cheap and cheerful or of real quality.


shops crowded with religious artefacts and . . .  a Christmas tree?
© Teresa Newham

Finally, there was the torchlight procession: hundreds of pilgrims with candles, singing and praying the rosary as they followed the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes around the domain.  Coachloads of pilgrims departed overnight or the next morning as the shops and hotels prepared to close until Easter.

Ave, Ave, Ave Maria!


the rain stayed away for the torchlight procession
© Teresa Newham