In memory of my mother

After my mother Mary Hughes died in December 2015, I struggled to find a way to reflect on the experience of losing a parent.

In Spring 2016 my friend and poet, Maria McManus, invited me to participate in a group exhibition with herself and 7 other artists of differing approaches, reflecting on her poetry written especially for this project – Cirque des Oiseaux – Artists and Augurs.

The core theme of auguries and auspices is based on ancient Greek and Roman culture wherein designated people in the civilisations (augurs) interpreted the will of the gods (the auspices) from the flight patterns of birds. The augurs were also the conduits through which messages from the people were conveyed to the gods.

This collaboration allowed me to reflect on Maria’s words, whilst exploring the gap left by my mother’s death with a focus on my father, myself and my infant son.

The title is a reference to the poem of the same name by Patrick Kavanagh, a poet greatly admired by my mother.