Artist in Residence

David Begley - Final report on Ancient Connections artist residency

David headshot 2 2

Research Summary

My research was extensive throughout this residency. It included foraging materials from hedgerows in Ferns to create a palette of medieval inks, developing techniques in using these, researching the history of medieval inks and manuscript making, illumination, quill making, reed pen making in order to make my own drawing tools and impart this knowledge to pupils of St Edan’s National School. I learned to carve spoons in the tradition of Welsh Cawl spoons by attending a private workshop with Welsh carver Osian Denman. I filmed and edited this experience, carved sycamore spoons, and used these in ink making:



I carried out in-depth research on traditional and contemporary horticultural practices in planning the preparation and maintenance of The Monk’s Garden at St Edan’s NS. I investigated the uses of wool fleece in compost production, erosion defence and water retention as a defence against drought, and used this successfully to feed and sustain the Garden while not being watered by school staff during holiday periods. Pupils of St Edan’s explained to me in detail the costs involved in shearing versus the selling price of clean, maggot-free wool. Researched and wrote about Lanolin.