Drawings and irish mythology

Several small drawings made today, continuing to examine and explore the feminine body as an environment and world, in and of itself. I’m also thinking a lot about the connection between the irish landscape/ environment, the irish feminine body and traditional irish folklore and mythology, particularly those of the cailleach, or “otherworld female”.

As Gearóid Ó Crualaoich wrote, the cailleach or ‘otherworld female’ “…personified the landscape and the climate – from “the power of the wind and wave… to the pastoral and nurturing fertility forces of plant and animal life…”

Legends about the cailleach were tied to “natural features of the physical landscape”, establishing a firm link between the irish topography and the sacred feminine body/ presence.

I’m also interested in the irish mythology and folklore tales of fairy/ changeling abduction, and the alternative worlds in which the victim women were ‘taken’ to, during these abductions.

In “Deposited Elsewhere”: The Sexualised Female Body and the Modern Irish Landscape”, Cara Delay notes,

“According to legendry, unsuspecting mortals (usually women and children) could be stolen away or “taken” by the fairies. Supernatural imposters, or fairy-changelings, then took their place in the human world. As Eugene Hynes reminds us, nineteenth-century Irish people associated fairy-women with “specific places”; as they did so, they mapped meaning onto the female body and the Irish topography. Women who wandered in forbidden or profane places were particularly likely to be “taken away”. The dangerous terrain into which women drifted was often liminal space, located on the margins of the town or village.”

When these women were abducted by these fairy changelings, they were said to have been taken to an alternative world, or realm of existence. I want to explore that non-place, its shapes, colours, contents and environment.

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