Sunday, January 22, 2006

What she be do?

I was walking down Denny Street in Tralee when I saw a sign that said Wellspring Gallery Contemporary Irish Art. I thought, well, I might as well check it out. I had to go down the steps into the basement of a three story house. I rang the bell, and after a while a woman with wild blond hair opened the door. She welcomed me and quickly ran off to the back yelling "I'll have tu find yu a brochure of the exhibit". I heard all this shuffling and crashing, "I'll have to print yu a new one: seems's though i've run out."
"That's fine" I yelled.
"Give us a shout if yu got any questions."
As expected, irish landscape paintings were on show. I was impressed with the gallery; it was professional enough and had great lighting." I walked through and there was a chair with some prints on it. I thought oh, I'll look through these. On closer inspection I noticed that they were actually fine art prints. My eyes light up and I quickly ran over to the woman.
"Hello, I noticed you have some prints."
She pulled herself out from under a table and gave me a suspicious look, "what kind of prints?"
"Etchings and monoprints." I was thinking are you mad don't you know what's in your own gallery?
Her eyes then light up "yes!!! She quickly pulled me over to her collection, and proceeded to tell me about how she was a printmaker and these prints were a collection from the graphic studio in Dublin, and the Cork Printshop. I continued to tell her that this is my first contact with prints in Tralee (my home town), and the frustrations I've been having trying to explain to my family what I was doing. After I said that, it was smooth sailing. We had made a connection, and her speech became rapid almost manic. I'd never smiled so much I was absolutley amused by this woman. She continued showing me her favorite prints and asked me "arn't these just luscious; don't you just want to eat them, they're so seductive." I thought I would be witnessing that famous seen from When Harry Met Sally with the way she was talking. I thought to myself 'what happened to my passion...I new exactly how she felt, but I had not felt that way in years.' Suddenly, I felt excited, I felt as if I had a mission. Tralee is the perfect town to have a printshop. During my whole stay in Ireland, I bonded very deeply with my family. All of a sudden my role in my family is not of a child, but now I have become a diplomat between the strange relationships the members of my family have with each other. Since my parents immigrated back to Ireland, I've felt like an outsider and America has suddenly become an empty place. I feel like in order to make my life work the way that will make me happy, I'll have to split my time between living here and living there. I need to make America a home, but I know that my real home is always there for me with my family. It's sad to say goodbye to my grandparents not knowing if I'll ever see them again, or to see my sisters growing up so fast. It's really weird the way time plays with ones mind especially when you are an immigrant. So, my plans have changed a little. I feel like if I open just a little printshop like the one Nick has in Barga, and spend the summers there teaching workshops while renting it out during the year to artists. I still have a lot to think about, and probably won't look into again until after I get my MFA, but knowing that that dream is there makes me happy.

A old man with a hump came out of this house, hopped onto his tractor and drove away.

The whole family together for Christmas. The first one in twelve years.

I'm a bit biased, but the Tralee Bay is just the most beautiful place.


profJ said...

Hey M:

I really liked this entry...... make that shop happen fast because I want to come and make prints and meet that family. The stories of you I will tell...


Mandy said...

What makes you think I'll let you into the printshop that easy??? Don't you think I have stories of my own to tell of you!!! I've been hearing a lot about you lately, Joel, fairies tell all...fairies TELL ALL!!!

profJ said...

Nels dared to speak of faries on his blog - I shamed him - the gnome loving loving bastard.