On Sunday, Maedhbh and I drove down to Waterford with our stubbornly independent toddler to attend the launch of ‘Enchanted’, an exhibition of children’s illustrations in the Garter Lane Arts Centre that was taking place the following day. The exhibition is part of the Sprog Children’s Festival, which runs in advance of Spraoi, the main Waterford arts festival.
On the way down there on the Sunday, we stopped in at the Rathwood Centre outside Tullow. It’s a huge garden centre where you can buy all sorts of (expensive) designer clothes, homeware stuff and souvenirs, but it also has a lovely restaurant where we had a delicious lunch. There are walks through the woods, or you can take a ride on the little train that goes around the estate. It’s like the Avoca centre in Wicklow – not quite as picturesque, but much bigger.
Apart from the few animals we could see in one of the paddocks, there’s a falconry on the grounds, and we happened to show up at the right time to catch the falcon display, watching the hawk swooping low over our heads to snatch ‘prey’ thrown into the air. If you’re ever down that way, particularly if you’re taking a break from a long drive, Rathwood’s well worth checking out.
On Monday, we made our way over to Garter Lane for the launch. Broken into two parts of the centre, the show features work by Niamh Sharkey, Annie West, Adrienne Geoghan and Bruce Ingman, as well as a few of mine. Adrienne ran a couple of workshops in the morning, leaving a room full of books and drawing materials that became a hive of creative and messy activity.
Then there was much mayhem as the kids ran around fuelled by orange and biscuits, marshmallows and buns. Some local VIP’s did their meeting and greeting and some of the gang from CBI ‘facilitated’ (which I think means they stood around chatting, having a good time and being influential – like God, they move in mysterious ways). In the midst of this, Bruce, Adrienne and I did some readings and a bit of drawing for a very mixed audience, while Maedhbh tried to stop our little girl either eating the crayons, or drawing on everything that wasn’t paper.
Thanks to Kathleen and everyone at Garter Lane for setting up the exhibition, I hope both festivals go well for them. And thanks to Jenny in CBI for the two photos of the launch. The show will be up until the end of August, when it moves to Galway for the Babaro Festival.