After finding the heron skull on Ballycastle I thought I’d post this painting from last year. This is a shag skull found on Tory Island.
Unfortunately I didn’t find it myself . It was found by Fergus and Marketta during the Portaferry Comhaltas expedition to Tory. They very kindly responded to my enthusiasm and excitement by giving it to me as a gift.
This trip to Tory was sad. I hadn’t been there for many years after visiting frequently as a teenager. I discovered that most of my friends had moved away from the island. One had died tragically. I visited his grave in Falcarragh on the way home. I thought often of the days sitting drawing with the children and teenagers. And of nights standing around bonfires and cruising around in aul cars up and down the one road. Its interesting that this big rock is continuing to provide me with visual and emotional stimuli after all these years. Indeed as it did for Derek Hill and many others.
You can see in these photos and in my painting the prominence of certain colours which I am persistently drawn to.
I didn’t find any birds of my own but I did come across this decaying sculptural rabbit corpse. I think this picture shows Here the harsh barren land of the Tory cliff tops, srcaped of all profitable and arable soil years ago, provides the background for the weather eaten fur and bones.
More of Tory another day…