‘Slow time on the Bog’: painter Mairead Holohan celebrates Carlow’s Drummin Bog

Update: 26 July Interview with Mairead Holohan on KCLR – listen in the Drummin Bog podcast playlist

On International Bog Day, the Drummin Bog Project is delighted to share that a 2022 ArtLinks bursary is enabling south Carlow-based painter Mairead Holohan to research and create new work in response to Drummin Bog and the local area.

“It was slow work in a slow space.”

Carlow-based painter Máiréad Holohan

Below: Glimpses from Máiréad’s sketchbooks from August 2021 to July 2022.

An ArtLinks bursary has allowed painter Máiréad Holohan time to research and experiment with ecologically sensitive creative practices. Máiréad works intuitively, responding to the quiet wonders she sees at Drummin bog. In her works, she showcases subtle colour pigments that she has developed from Drummin Bog itself. Wishing to work as sustainably as possible, she also sources other natural materials: handmade crayons and watercolours.

“I find the subtlety of the natural pigments suits the softness and the stillness of Drummin bog.”

We congratulate Máiréad in her series of stunning works that celebrate the shifting beauty of Drummin Bog, a beautiful and still little-known unique remnant of raised bog undergoing restoration in the South East of Ireland near Carlow’s Barrow River and Blackstairs mountains.

Máiréad’s work draws us in to reflect on the quiet natural beauty of Drummin bog and its surrounding ring of woodlands. Her work highlights the magic of this little bog, which will only become more beautiful and special as Drummin bog begins to regenerate.

Máiréad’s new body of work developed after a time spent on an earlier residency in Cill Rialiag, an artists’ residency on Bolus Head, County Kerry, in November 2021. Máiréad felt the benefit of time alone and its similarity to her own surroundings gave her inspiration to look at Drummin bog which is close to her home. Inspired by attending an ecoliteracy course for creatives at Haumea Ecoversity, led by Carlow-based ecoartist-educator Cathy Fitzgerald, Máiréad’s creative work reflects that in these urgent times

“we all need to slow down, produce less and re-evaluate our creative work practices.”

A limited run of 50 books created from these works will available from Máiréad’s pop-up exhibition in Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny from 5-14 th of August 2022 during the Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Follow Máiréad’s work on Instagram @maireadholohanartist

Thank you so much for sharing your work with us Máiréad.


Máiréad gratefully acknowledges the support from ArtLinks, the Carlow Arts Office and Haumea Ecoversity and Su Nunn at KCLR

PLEASE NOTE: Access to Drummin Bog is limited due to the sensitive nature of the habitat and its status as a wildlife reserve. Great precaution must be taken in visiting the bog due to its unmarked deep drains, and other hazards. It is therefore recommended people do not walk on the bog alone. Children must always be supervised and no dogs please as efforts are in place to encourage birds to return. Thank you for understanding. In time, a woodland walkway is envisaged. The Drummin Bog Project is in its very early stages.

Would you like to get involved with the Drummin Bog Project?
Join the voluntary committee? People with diverse skills and knowledge are welcome. To find out more, please contact Alan Price, Chair of Drummin Bog Project at alandesprice@gmail.com

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