Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Acrylic Ink on Arches 100 % Cotton Cold pressed paper,
10 x 7 inchs
Loch is a lake, can also be a sea inlet or a pool according to Dineen, it is still most commonly a lake, which is defined by the Kingfisher Geography Encyclopedia as a large body of water surrounded by land,  finally loch is 'Lacus' in Latin and 'Llyn' in welsh.  The word Loch is used in Ireland and Scotland, while in Ireland it tends to be anglified as Lough, in Scotland the original Irish spelling is kept, Loch. Most lake names in Ireland use the word loch like Lough Leane in Killarney, which P.W. Joyce says the Dinnshenchas claims its from Lean of the white teeth, a craftsman who forged on the shore, probably highly fanciful but always fun to get the imaginative too.

The painting is of one of the two Sgillogue lochs in the Comeragh mountains in county waterford, nestled between Coumlara and Coumguarha, its a beautiful part of the mountains with views of the Nire Valley below. These lochs are two little cirque (Com in Irish, hence Comeragh mountains), which are hollows created during the forming of a glacier. There are several other kinds of lakes, some are those formed after tectonic plates move, others are in craters, and others are called Oxbow lakes and are formed when a part of a river gets cut off from the main course.

What we dont realise usually, is that language is a bridge, its the bridge we build when we want to connect the inside itself, with the outside world. A language is shaped by the history of a people, each generation trying to express both what was around them and what was in them and connect the two. Placenames are an embodiment of this, they are the bridge between our landscape and language, both of which we use as mediums. This is true for all cultures, as much for French or German as Irish, language and the world around it, have changed and grew together, making the experience of either without the other, only half the story.


1.    An Irish-English dictionary, J. O'Brien, 1832,
2.     Irish names of places, Vol 1, P.W. Joyce
3.     Irish local names explained Vol1, P.W. Joyce, 1902
4.     Folclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen, 1904,
5.    OSI Discovery Map 75
6.    The Kingfisher Geography Encyclopedia, 2001
7.    The Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Factopedia, 1995
8.    Listening to the Landscape, Tim Robinson, The Irish Review, No. 14, An Ghaeilge: The Literature and Politics of Irish(Autumn, 1993), pp. 21-32Reviewed
9.    "Before I Forget…": Seán Mac Labhraí, Journal of the Poyntzpass and District Local History Society, No.3 (Nov., 1989)

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