story Archaeology

Exploring stories in the landscape

The Art for Sinann Gallery: Page 1

The Submissions are all in, admired, and assessed and now it is time to celebrate all the entries together in one gallery for everyone to view.

There has been a great and reponse from around the world and very soon, we hope to organise an on’line get-together to celebrate the competition and all the inspiring entries produced.

Gallery images of artwork of every type are ready to view here, For ease of viewing, poems and stories can be accessed in a PDF format. So let’s begin.

Title: Sinann
Creators: Caróg Liath and Morpheus Ravenna

Click here to read the poem forming part of this winning entry

Our submission is a collaborative work that weaves together painting and poetry. Drawing inspiration from the three Dindshenchas stories about Sinann, our work focuses on Sinann’s journey seeking imbas forosnai, that moment of transformative illumination as she meets the waters of the well, and her entry into her “new life” arising from the transformation from woman to river. Caróg Liath’s poetry is composed in Irish and English, following some of the norms of Irish poetic forms. In Morpheus Ravenna’s painting in oil and ink on panel, the words of the poem are painted in ogham throughout the land, water, and sky surrounding Sinann, highlighting the sources of the river Shannon from the poem and describing the steps of Sinann’s own journey. Crowned with light, Sinann gathers the waters of the well to bring her poetic understanding through the landscape of Ireland.

Sinann: Stained glass created by Lee Fenlon

Sinann by Avril Egan

I tried to use the textures, streaks, colour mixes and patterns found in the glass to give detail to the various aspects of the piece. I included a picture of it back-lit with natural light to show the duel aspect of the glass.

I aa stained glass artist/crafter but have only been at the craft 2 years. Inspired by my younger brother who loved all things glass especially Tiffany windows, he thought me the basics of cutting glass and it’s limits. Since then it’s moved from interest to passion to ” I wonder can that be made in glass”.

Firstly a little bit about myself, I am an artist and a recent graduate of (NUIG) National University of Ireland Galway where I studied both English and Gaeilge. I studied Irish folklore in great detail while in college and the stories surrounding Lir, the Fianna and fairy folk always peaked my interest. As a proud Athlone woman I only felt compelled to enter this fantastic competition. The river Shannon runs through the middle of athlone Town and defines the town so elegantly. I wanted to commemorate An Sinnann in my painting and portray her as a strong and beautiful woman much like the the river who adds such beauty and grace to my home town.

My painting is done in acrylic paints. I was inspired by the modern retelling of the An Sinnann story as seen ó. storyarchaeology.com. I utilised the imagery I myself seen in the verse and adopted it to the canvas (12″x32″ inch prestreched deep wedged can as) 

“Granddaughter to the sea”- I portrayed her as a beautiful, vibrant and youthful soul. 

“She came not to seek power. She came as the sea comes, in curiosity without hindrance. She was unstoppable.” – although I painted her as beautiful, her beauty does not compromise her strength. 

“… Her feet were like white seashells and her hair was woven with the wind. She was ungovernable”.- I painted her skin in ivory and gave her rosey cheeks accompanied with beautiful red/ginger hair. I also made sure to add strands of Hazel to her cyclical hair , to signify the cultural significance of An sinnann and the chestnut trees. 

“… green robe undulated like wind washed waves as she walked.” – as you can see my figure is in motion, she donns a beautiful emerald green cloak and robe, with elements of gold spiral embellishments and a golden torc. 

“The salmon stirred in their bonds of knowledge and began to turn in great spirals rising to meet their freedom” .- I have salmon painted towards the foreground of the painting. I used tourqouise and salmon pink colours. They appear up close and far back on the canvas some of them are leaping in a circular motion as in the text and as salmon tend to naturally and instinctively do. 

Remember, you can right click on these images to view full size.

Enamel on copper and steel.

My training as an archaeologist and museum curator have inspired my artwork and I have been developing the idea of how humans relationship with water has changed through different historical periods to the present day. The offering of votives to the water gods and goddessess, the metal artefacts that have been found at bridges, fords and causeways, in particular copper. The emergence of christianity and the attrition of pagan god worship to the renaming and repurposing of water sites. Time moving forwards and the change to the wishing well culture of throwing of coins into fountains, padlocking love tokens to bridges and plastics in the sea. website www.susanmannion.com

Digital art using hand drawn elements and photography by Rik Ivens

I recognise Sinann’s place in the cycle of life. She ate the Salmon of knowledge which beset her with the loss of her life. We all need to eat of course, but the important lesson we learn from the Salmon is that water can take life, (though in the main, water is the source of all life). Sinann was taken by the floods but the winding river by which she is named helps to give back to us by providing.

The perpetual swirls of the river can mesmerise us with their own stories to tell and this in turn can help to inspire us in our art.  

‘Joy And Power’ by Mary Taylor

The illustration depicts Sinnan, Goddess of the River Shannon, standing in her full devine strength against a full harvest moon.  She is embracing her Universal energy, and is at the point of merging this energy with the river which is taking the form of the mythical river monster with the head of a horse and the tail of a whale.  This is the still of the moment, except for the seeds which disperse, representing how her people will be nourished as she dissolves her power into the flowing waters of the Shannon River  which will flow her Energy through the length of Ireland bringing fertility and life to the land and its people.

Sinann by Eileen MacDermott

The illustration depicts Sinnan, Goddess of the River Shannon, standing in her full devine strength against a full harvest moon.  She is embracing her Universal energy, and is at the point of merging this energy with the river which is taking the form of the mythical river monster with the head of a horse and the tail of a whale.  This is the still of the moment, except for the seeds which disperse, representing how her people will be nourished as she dissolves her power into the flowing waters of the Shannon River  which will flow her Energy through the length of Ireland bringing fertility and life to the land and its people.

Sinann: Watercolour and Ink by Stefania Oggioni

I have represented the Goddess Sionnan in her personification of the River Shannon. Sionnan  holds close a Corncrake couple. Curlew, swan and other animals and plants gather at her feet, protected by the folds of her watery clothing.

Thank you for creating this competition.

Bubbles on the River Shannon: abstract Art by Bill Rabinovitch

“Bubbles on the River Shannon” as first disovered deep beneath the earth by Sinann, she caused to come to tbe surface & bubbling as River Shannon. I have had an active interest in mythology since boyhood. My interests have matured ever deeper with serious interests in Jung & Joseph Campell.

Sinann: Digital art by Alan Nagle

I have chosen to represent Sinann, sitting in the waters of the river Shannon, nurturing and sustaining life within and on her banks. In the composition, 

there are references to the stories surrounding or located around Sinnan, such as the Salmon of Knowledge (being fed a hazel nut from her hand) and the Children of Lir (the swans nest).

Sinann: Oil on Canvas by Olivia Finn

The painting shows the mystical quality of the Goddess who is surrounded by tranquil swans on calm water. The swans blend with the feathery, soft dress and are thus connected to Sinann. There is an inseparable link between the Goddess and nature.

Sinann: Digital Painting by Gráinne White

The recent installation of a sculpture representing the Shannon in Athlone town has only served to remind us of how unaware we are of our own rich folklore, for throughout the centuries this river was represented by a Goddess. Sinann (or Sionann), who, having tasted from a magical druids’ well of wisdom was washed out to sea, her powers dissolving and enriching everything she touched, thus fulfilling the true nature of a river.

Sinann: by Bill Rabinovitch

I tore apart a Picasso, reinventing her & most everything – adding a new dress, a cubist apple & orange, background – forging it into an art experience both figurative & abstract newly alive for nowGoing into the underworld Sinann descends into darkness her way lit only by an apple & orange to find the source of River Shannon she offers the River Gods as gifts to have them acceed to her desire to create & release the River Shannon.

And I will finish page 1 of this Gallery with the first of many evokative poems that were submitted to the competition.

Sinann’s love song to Buchanan

I me myself Buchanan

Kayaked along the Shannon

Fell head first in water clear

Swimmer am I with no fear

Not believing I’m drowning

Blissful feelings surrounding

This the least of my troubles

My laughing burst blue bubbles

Sinaan’s word to deliver

Her head raised from the river

To speak wisdom and knowledge

Erin’s children to encourage  

Sinann’s calling unto me

Unloose your tongue to be free

The warm feeling in my breast

The feeling to learn Irish

Fluent speakers must baptise

Full emersion in the tide

Each one called to speak in tune

Knowledge and wisdom’s commune

No more like a song unsung

We speak our native tongue

It is not what is spoken

What it means is its token

Now you’ve your language to sing

Sing your song with fervent ring

Ring the sound of mother’s song

Gaeigel Gach La we belong

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