Unique handformed ceramic in terracotta
43 x 46cms
This work has been inspired by stories of Fionn McCuamhaill (Finn McCool) and his band of warriors, the Fianna. Stories of Fionn and the Fianna lie in the realm of deep mythology, probably stretching back thousands of years and Cormac Boydell illustrates some of these in this imaginative piece, reflective of the essence of the ancient legends.
The figure looking in from the left is Fionn, who discovers a young boy naked in a clearing in the woods. The deer represents Fionn’s lost love, Sadhbh, a woman from Tír na nÓg who had been turned into a deer by a druid whom she had refused to marry. Fionn realises that the boy is his son, Oisín, who goes on to become one of the greatest of the Fianna.
But there are other elements in this image - fire, a salmon, and a river. Perhaps the central figure is Fionn himself and the onlooker is Finnéigeas, the poet, with whom he studied as a youth, beside the River Boyne. Finnéigeas finally succeeded in catching the Salmon of Knowledge and left Fionn to tend it as it cooked on the fire, warning him not to eat it. However, when a bubble formed on the salmon’s flesh, Fionn used his thumb to burst it. For the rest of his life, Fionn had only to suck his thumb for all the knowledge of the world to come to him.
Yet a third story is of Fionn discovering his servant Derg Corra in the woods. Fionn had banished him out of jealousy, when a woman Fionn had abducted showed a preference for Derg Corra who had strange attributes that marked him as a deer-deity.
Thanks to Finola Finlay for this background description.
Prize Draw Fundraiser
In support of the Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger exhibition coming to Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre (20 July to 13 October) and the accompanying extensive, programme of events; we are holding a prize draw for this unique artwork by Cormac Boydell.
Tickets are on sale at Reception for €5 (€10 for a book of 3)
The draw will take place on the last day of the exhibition on Saturday 13 October 2018.