Artist in Residence
David Begley ‘Small Finds’
David Begley is an artist, writer and arts educator who works through the mediums of drawing, painting, print, animation, video, sound, writing and gardening/nature connection.
David was commissioned in 2020 by the Ancient Connections Project to become our artist in residence, following the Exploring a Shared Past strand (diving into the history and archaeological connections between Wexford and Pembrokeshire) in a creative and participatory way.
David’s own journey started with a period of intense research which continued through the course of his residency…
“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”
Enthused by his research, David created a beautiful garden at St Edan’s National School. He then worked alongside children at the school delivering a twelve-week visual art, heritage and gardening project where pupils grew fruit, vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs and flowers and used these as sources for drawing, painting, science and history lessons and workshops. Inspired by the medieval monk, St. Aidan, many of the plants chosen for the garden would have grown in medieval monastic gardens.
A 10,000 word illustrated account of this experience can be read here: https://www.davidbegley.com/themonksgarden
And an online exhibition of school children’s work can be viewed here: https://www.davidbegley.com/stedans-ns-exhibition
David also produced a body of magical images entitled ‘Small Finds’ from the inks he created using foraged materials including oak gall, alder cone and elderberries. More images and information on how to purchase prints can be found here: https://www.davidbegley.com/smallfinds
‘Small finds, a journey into ink’ is a documentary of his experience making these images and can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/davidbegleyartist/smallfinds
You can download David’s full report on his Ancient Connections residency below:
Click here to get in touch with David or to find out more about his work.