Thursday, 29 September 2016

Tuam Spirt Babies - Heart

The heart symbol is an extremely powerful image and a recurring theme in my own work. 

It's significance to this project arose early on as the aspects of love and connection are obviously at the root of what mother and baby is.

Source unknown
noun: courage
  1. the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.
    "she called on all her courage to face the ordeal"
    • strength in the face of pain or grief.
      "he fought his illness with great courage"
      synonyms:bravery, braveness, courageousness, pluck, pluckiness, valour, fearlessness, intrepidity, intrepidness, nervedaringaudacity, boldness; More
      antonyms:cowardice, timidity


Middle English (denoting the heart, as the seat of feelings): from Old French corage, from Latin cor‘heart’

As you know, I like to look at the origin of a word or check the vibration of it.
One of the Italian words for heart (there are several) is Core.
Some of the latin words for heart are: cor, corcillum, cord, super cor.
The french for heart is Coeur.
Some of the Spanish words are centro, cuoro.
The word Courage has Cour at it's root too; meaning heart. 

Bon Secours translates as good help. This expression is often seen in names such as "Notre Dame de Bon Secours" which means "Our Lady of Good Comfort". It's usually used as a reference to the Virgin Mary but having looked at the other aspects of courage and the heart these also fit with the name Bon Secours too. I don't need to labour the point, you know where this is leading... #Tuamspiritbabies
As mentioned in an earlier post. Catherine Corless means pure heart Xx

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies- Rurai O'Byrne

5" x 5" Sculpture by Rurai O'Byrne

It was great to finally catch up with Rurai (a friend and mural artist) over a cuppa today and discuss his incredibly potent contribution to our Tuam Spirit Babies Exhibition. Its called  Inner Sense Crucified. When he unwrapped the piece I almost fell backward with the wave of energy that came from it. It's very powerful and there are many references to stigmata, the sacred heart and the beautiful outstretched baby hands offering a crystal heart would melt most people. #Tuamspiritbabies
This is the message that comes with it.

 Inner Sense Crucified
We  Crucify innocence  daily by not  listening to our pure, aspiring, childlike, inner grace. It serves to remind us that we too are sacred. On a journey home to the Mother. 
Stunning. Many thanks to Rurai for taking the time and effort to contribute.

                                                                        Feature Walls

Frog Cottage
                                                                                                        Co. Galway
mob: 087 2500024

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Lucy Gavin

                                  Lucie Gavin is a lovely Czech lady living in Tuam

By Lucie Gavin
I've had the pleasure of meeting Lucie several times over the past few years and it was lovely to spend time chatting properly over a cup of coffee  
Lucie (and several other people who have made little keepsakes for the show) told me that they entered a kind of communion with the process. They've all had a certain idea about what they've wanted to achieve but something quite emotional happens during the actual making of the piece and a particular message comes with the finished product. Lucie mentioned how the sense of 'divide and isolate' was very much a starting point but the thing that struck her was that the spirit of the two (mother and baby stays together.) That each have their own hearts but they beat as one because they are made of the same blood and tissue and that they are still one no matter how far apart they are. Beautiful.
Thank you for your contribution Lucie.
                                      The message from the paintings.

Tuam Spirit Babies
     These two paintings belong together. 
They symbolise mum and baby. 
      Dove symbolises LOVE and PEACE - make peace and send Love.
"Always loved,  never forgotten."
Dry those tears and forgive." Lucie

Lucie Gavin
Phone: 086 0853618

Search ResultsAngels by Lucie - Facebook

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Edel Lowry

By Edel Lowry

Here's the latest contribution to our Tuam Spirit Babies exhibition from Edel Lowry who's based in Castletown, Ballycumber. 

Edel mentioned a while back that she was out for a walk one day and out of the corner of her eye noticed a crushed dog rose hip on the ground. Immediately the children from the 'homes' came to mind and encapsulated in her beautiful piece are the words...full of potential...yet not allowed to bloom. 

The rose buds are crushed in behind the glass and the overall image is very potent. 
Thanks to Edel (who's always a source of wisdom) for taking the time and effort.  #Tuamspiritbabies 

Tuam Spirit Babies - Spirit of Nurture

Following on from yesterday's post, I drew this card and feel the need to share it.

The Spirit of Nurture

"I am the Spirit of nurture. I offer protection and a safe, homely place where you might find refuge and access new energy at times of crisis. In me you will find support and encouragement that restore your well being and enable you to move ahead in your life's journey. The sustenance I offer will fortify you and help you to face whatever lies ahead with renewed vigour." 

Nurture provides balm , rest and peace for the soul. Whatever difficulty, loss or pain you encounter; through nurture you will find a sanctuary of warmth, solace and support. Home and family are time honoured sources of such nourishment which may be physically at hand or experienced as spiritual reality even when we are alone and far away. The Spirit of Nurture depicted here as a spirit house, offers a refuge in time of adversity. Here you may recover your strength and gather your thoughts as you prepare to continue on your path. This oasis of peace and love is always available to you.



Shelter  Foundation   Ancestral Strength   Restoration of trial   Renewal   Help in time of need   Support   Strength   Nourishment of body, mind and soul 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Tuma Spirit Babies-HOME

Our 20 yr.old car (we had it for 10.5 years) finally popped it's lil' pistons and took itself off to the great Toyota garage in the sky yesterday. We're all sad. We'll miss the 'fun bus'(it was an 8 seater) as it was affectionately called by some of our passengers. We live in the midst of the country (Mark has a van for his work) but we also need a car. How a new one is going to magically appear will be interesting, usually I get a bit worried by things like that but, strangely, I feel a sense of calm and trust about it and weirdly excited...? The car was towed away last Sunday and I've been at HOME a lot more than usual this week and for some reason the word HOME has come up in different forms to acknowledge.

I like to look at the definitions of words (you've prob. guessed that by now.)
This is the psychological aspect of the HOME from Wikipedia.

A home is generally a place that is close to the heart of the owner, and can become a prized possession. It has been argued that psychologically "The strongest sense of home commonly coincides geographically with a dwelling. Usually the sense of home attenuates as one moves away from that point, but it does not do so in a fixed or regular way."[11] Since it can be said that humans are generally creatures of habit, the state of a person's home has been known to physiologically influence their behavior, emotions, and overall mental health.[12] People may become homesick when they leave their home over an extended period of time. Places like homes can trigger self-reflection, thoughts about who someone is or used to be or who they might become.[citation needed] These types of reflections also occur in places where there is a collective historical identity, such as Gettysburg or Ground Zero.[13]
Popular sayings include "a man's home is his castle", "there is no place like home", "home sweet home", "to be at home", "home away from home", "make yourself at home", "you can never go home again",[14] "home is where the heart is"[15] and "home is where you hang your hat".[16]
The word home can be used for various types of residential community institutions in which people can live, such as nursingretirement homes for seniors, foster homes, etc.[citation needed]Short-term accommodation in a treatment facility for several weeks is unlikely to be considered 'home'.
Homes may be lost in many ways,
Home has different connotations for different people. 
Home is where the heart is
Home is where the hearth is
Where there is fire and cheer and warmth there's HOME

Heaven On Mother Earth
Could quite easily be 
Hell On Mother Earth for some 
By all accounts Home is not a word that most of the inhabitants would use to describe the place they endured, it was more a prison or detention centre. 

The children from the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam were often called the 'Home Babies' or the 'Home children' by locals and a story that a lady told me one day in the Shopping mall kind of fits with the overall theme of this post.

She lived just beyond the great boundary wall of the 'Home,' her mother was a dressmaker and one day when she was around the age of five, a girl from the home appeared on the top of her kitchen table. The girl was being fitted for a new dress and was having her hem adjusted. This lady recalled how beautiful the girl looked in a brand new dress and despite having the blunt signature bob haircut that most of the girls had (to get rid of the lice) her platinum blonde hair shone with a brand new ribbon. Delighted for the girl she told her, "Now you look like a nice girl and not a 'home child' anymore." The lady told me that her own words have haunted her for years and that the passage of time has revealed so many things about that day in her house. Many children (girls especially) were prepared for adoption in such a manner. They were fitted with new garments, replacing the heavy brown uniform which was worn all the time, and given a colourful ribbon for the hair rather than the brown stripy one.

So much of this story is wrong but is yet another aspect to consider about the 'Home children.'#Tuamspiritbabies 

Friday, 23 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Catherine Corless

We briefly looked at the word recognition the other day. 
We've named the project
'Tuam Spirit Babies - A National Art Project Recognising past wrongs,' but we only touched on what recognition is, who do we recognise during this process?

We know it's the mothers, babies and children who were so wrongly mistreated and incarcerated for years upon end.

We need to recognise the fathers whom from the outset never got a chance to be a daddy but also those who fathered children in an abusive way and sent their 'problems' away. Also the fathers of the women who willingly sent their daughters to these institutions.

We need to recognise that there were protectors in these situations but more often than not there were protectors who became predators and then perpetrators.

There is a huge need to recognise that extortionate amounts of money was generated for the religious orders. Babies were stolen and traded.

We need to recognise that largely the general public were 'in the dark' about what went on in these institutions but had their suspicions.

We need to recognise that all levels of society were involved with the vaccination programmes and illegal adoptions in particular. 

Recognition also needs to go those who have tirelessly worked in the background to bring these injustices into the public domain.

Catherine Corless 
The name Catherine means pure and the word Cor relates to the heart. 
Catherine Corless (pure heart) - couldn't be truer.

Catherine Corless with her daughter Adrienne and Grandchild

Catherine Corless - Tuam Shopping Mall

I've had the privilege of meeting Catherine several times now and have found her to be one of the most incredible people I've encountered for sometime. Not only did she painstakingly pursue the truth about the Tuam Mother and Baby Home but prior to her ever having been involved with such a big news story, through her work as a genealogist, Catherine has connected numerous people to their origins, bringing closure to the nightmare of not knowing. What a gift! #Tuamspiritbabies 
Model by Catherine Corless - Photo by Andrew Downes

                                                                              ph: 00353 (0)876391500
Model made by Catherine Corless

Photo by Andrew Downes
                              ph: 00353 (0)876391500
Catherine Corless contribution to our exhibition (no explanation needed)

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Kitchen table craft

Please join us for an informal morning of craft, coffee and chat round our kitchen table to make white 'keepsakes' for our project 'Tuam Spirit Babies.' (Tuam means burial mound and so represents all other burial mounds and buried truths.) 

These will be white (5"x5") and displayed at an exhibition space in Tuam on November 2nd 2016 (venue to be confirmed next week.) This ongoing project is to recognise those 800 mothers and small children who died during their time at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam and whose bodies are still missing. It is also to recognise the survivors and for those who are still searching for loved ones.

I will have a certain amount of materials available here but please bring anything that might be useful (White material, wool, thread, sewing machines.etc..)

You don't need to be artistic, just come and have fun. Everyone's contribution is valid and necessary.

There's been a wonderful response to this project so far. Don't miss the opportunity to contribute and please bring a friend. Babies and children welcome Xx All welcome (there are many different people already involved and this project is very much about EVERYONE.)

11am -
Luimnagh West, Corrandulla, Co.Galway 087 2940458 
Look forward to seeing you then.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Recognition

Tuam Spirit Babies - A National Art Project - recognising past wrongs is the title of our evolving collection but what are we actually recognising? #Tuamspiritbabies 

There are many aspects to the word recognition as you will see below (Wiki) I think it's a worth while exercise not to spoon feed the answers but to see what arises from your own consciousness. More on this tomorrow.
noun: recognition; plural noun: recognitions
  1. the action or process of recognizing or being recognized, in particular:
    "he stared at her, but there was no sign of recognition on his face"
    • identification of a thing or person from previous encounters or knowledge.
      "she saw him pass by without a sign of recognition"
      "he stared at her, but there was no sign of recognition on his face"
    • acknowledgement of the existence, validity, or legality of something.
      "the unions must receive proper recognition"
      synonyms:acknowledgementacceptanceadmission, conceding, concession, granting; More

    • appreciation or acclaim for an achievement, service, or ability.
      "his work was slow to gain recognition"

      appreciationgratitudethanks, congratulations, a pat on the back, hat tipcreditcommendationacclaimacclamationMore
    • formal acknowledgement by a country that another political entity fulfils the conditions of statehood and is eligible to be dealt with as a member of the international community.
      noun: diplomatic recognition; plural noun: diplomatic recognitions
      late 15th century (denoting the acknowledgement of a service): from Latin recognitio(n- ), from the verb recognoscere ‘know again, recall to mind’ (see recognise).


      late 15th century (denoting the acknowledgement of a service): from Latin recognitio(n- ), from the verb recognoscere ‘know again, recall to mind’ (see recognize).late 15th century (denoting the acknowledgement of a service): from Latin recognitio(n- ), from the verb recognoscere ‘know again, recall to mind’ (see