The Real and the Imagined in terms of Sanctuary
A story is told of a man falling asleep on the side of a mountain and out of his open mouth emerges a butterﬂy. The butterﬂy ﬂutters away to land on a nearby, sun-bleached, skull. Into it goes the butterﬂy seeking sanctuary. Sometime later the butterﬂy exits the skull and re-enters the sleeper by way of his parted lips. The man wakes up with a start declaring " I have just had a most wonderful dream in which I was wandering through an inﬁnite palace of white marble."
Painting, while being a gesture of deep reverence towards the unfathomable, is also a journey into the sanctuary of mind. Landscape and mind being synonymous, landscape becomes the mind that is manifest so that we can see where we are going. Protected in the moment of becoming like a seabird returning to the Saltee Islands or a Marsh Fritillary butterﬂy on the shoreline of Lough na Gabhair or a donkey, safely in sight of Carrowkeel.