International Muralist Paints Newgrange Lodge
By Caroline Cavanaugh
MURALS depicting Meath's historic sites have been painted on the walls of the region's newest accommodation provider, The Newgrange Lodge, outside Donore village. A 3x3 meter map of Meath and Louth in oil paints and oil pastels, along with some historice sites and landscapes now adorns the hotel foyer walls, visible to all.
The artist Erin Langley is from Oakland, California, and was tracing her ancestors who hail from the north east. They are the de Lacys from Trim and Armagh, as well as Duffy, Dillon, Maloney, Donovan, and Collighan.
Faraway Places Influence Artist's Unique Vision
by Mary Maraghy
The Middleburg Native is pursuing studies about her tribal ancestors.
PROFESSIONAL artist Erin Langley, who grew up in Middleburg, moved to Oakland, California to pursue graduate studies at Naropa University. Here, this 1998 graduate of St. Johns Country Day School is working on a Master's Degree in Indigenous Mind. The program is designed to help westerners reconnect with their tribal ancestors' way of life.
“It involves connecting to nature,” she said. “Seeing myself in nature helps me see more clearly in general. Seeing clearly and rendering what I see is the key to good art.”
The title of her thesis is “Reinstating the Role of Community Dreaming Using Traditional Protocol and Open Source Technology.” The work calls society to return to the ancient practice of sharing their dreams and piecing them together to make adjustments for the sustained balance of one's culture.
Her parents reminisce that when she was a toddler, she made three-dimensional pop-up greeting cards, and signed her Noah's ark picture twice to correspond with pairs of animals depicted.
Langley visited her parents' home in Middleburg recently after a three-month ancestral journey to Ireland to research her Celtic culture. Celtic people, she said, were astronomers who devised amazing calendars. They were great craftsmen and warriors, fierce, brave, and hot-headed.
“I learned that I have a home and it is in Ireland. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I could feel it. It's as though my bones are made of the place.”
While in Ireland, the owners of the hostel she stayed in hired her to paint a mural on a lodge wall. The map of historic places was featured recently in the Drogheda Independent newspaper in County Meath.
Langley works as a commissioned artist in San Francisco, having trained under muralist Lynne Rutter. Langley has also taught indigenous science and nature-based math in California high schools.
All Artwork ©2007 by Erin Langley