This book will be released in April 2023.
Pre-orders are charged at time of order and the book will be posted to you as soon as it becomes available.
Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire: Volume Two
In English and Irish with trilingual introduction (English, Welsh and Irish)
The Bright Plain contains two short stories by Michelle Dooley Mahon; ‘The Deacon’ and ‘The Meadow of Women’, in which ritual devotions are placed in contemporary contexts. She writes of illness, suffering, devotion and healing with startling simplicity and a dose of humour. These are not metaphors or coincidences, but real events, requiring neither explanation nor justification. Alongside are toned cyanotype prints by Caitriona Dunnett of St Anne’s well, Lady’s Island and the surrounds of other wells in South Wexford; ethereal, uncanny images that conjure up the past or even the Otherworld, whilst also being here and now.
A reliable and clean source of water is essential for any community, so it is easy to understand how important wells were for pre-modern peoples. More complex is the mystical relationship humans have developed with these sites, which are imbued with a sacredness that predates Christianity. Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire is a series of five chapbooks celebrating holy wells in two regions with common ancestry and history. Since at least the Bronze Age, sea travel between these two lands has meant cross fertilisation of traditions and common names associated with wells of both regions. Of significance is the long-standing friendship between two early Christian saints: David, who became the first Bishop of St Davids; and Aidan, born in Ireland, who spent time in Wales and then founded monasteries in Ireland, including at Ferns. In Oilgate, Wexford, there is a well dedicated to David and, at Whitesands near St Davids in Pembrokeshire, there is one named after Aidan. Each of the five books approaches the subject from different perspectives and mediums, including fiction, poetry and essays as well as photographs and prints.
Holy Wells of Wexford and Pembrokeshire is a series of five chapbooks commissioned by Ancient Connections, an EU funded arts, heritage and tourism project linking north Pembrokeshire with north Wexford led by Pembrokeshire County Council with partners Wexford County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and Visit Wexford. The series coincides with the launch of a new pilgrim route; Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way between Ferns in County Wexford and St Davids in Pembrokeshire. The holy wells explored in this series through fiction, essays, photographs, poetry and prints are all on or close to the new pilgrim route.
Michelle Dooley Mahon is a writer from Wexford, Ireland. She wrote and performed seven one-woman shows before she became the author of the groundbreaking novel Scourged and the playwright and performer of its adaptation to the stage, The Scourge, which won her a writing award in New York when she performed it off Broadway at The Irish Rep in 2020. She was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD at age fifty-seven. She writes and hosts the #mdmpodcast and has been commissioned to write essays on a wide variety of topics. She is a speaker and advocate about Alzheimers and mental health. During lockdown she performed two new shows: Pas Mon Singe (Not My Monkey), and Divilskin part 2. She is currently writing directly from her diaries for a new book called Spiders Don’t Eat Biscuits about being a carer for her ninety-two-year-old father, Tom.
She lives alone with three beautiful dogs who think they are people.
Caitriona Dunnett is an Irish artist based in the UK. Her practice explores memory. She is intrigued by the traces people leave behind, the paths they weave through time and the legacies attached to them. Dunnett has a BA Hons in Photography from Nottingham Trent University and a MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been supported by the Irish and English Art Councils, The Richard and Siobhán Coward Foundation, Grain Projects and a-n The Artist Information Company. Recent exhibitions included Brighton Photo Fringe, Hill Close Gardens, Warwick, The Lost Garden, Darkroom Birmingham, Images Are All We Have, PhotoIreland Festival, The Flourish Award Exhibition, West Yorkshire Print Workshop and 22, Format Festival. Her work was published by PhotoIreland, featured in Black & White Photography Magazine and online with the Irish Times, Atlas Obscura and Photomonitor.
THIS SERIES OF CHAPBOOKS ARE £6 EACH OR £25 FOR ALL FIVE TITLES.