Festival of Bridges #17 ~ Spanning Lives

This final contribution to The Festival of Bridges brings me back home to Waterford, courtesy of  Clare Scott, who blogs with such talent at The Mermaid’s Purse.

This is what Clare sent:

I was racking my brain for bridges but out of thousands of photos none stood out ….. Then yesterday I was asked to drive some of my fellow art students out to the Red Iron Bridge on the Suir in Co. Waterford. The Red Iron Bridge is north of the City of Waterford and just south of the new bridge which takes traffic around the city. The bridge has been closed for years now, the tracks rotten and rusted.

The Red Iron Bridge, Waterford City, Ireland Photo: Clare Scott
 It is a bridge that has drawn the young people of Waterford (not a few art students among them) for more than a few generations and its position near the city but spanning the river at an unbuilt-up spot probably makes it one of the few ‘wilderness’ spots familiar to otherwise urban youth.
To get there you take a tiny, muddy path up from a narrow road, near where the old railway track crossed it on a small ivy covered bridge. A couple of minutes of twisting through bushes and trees and past low grey walls tagged with graffiti brings you onto the tracks. You are immediately aware of the swirling brown water below and the places where the tracks are rusty. It makes me very nervous. 
The last time I was here, ten years ago, I climbed out over the railings to by pass the fence blocking the track to make my way to sit atop one of the pillars legs dangling and nerves slightly jangled. This time I left the stunts to the the younger people. 
This bridge along with the city bridge is iconic to Waterford people I think for the river in Waterford has taken more more than a few lives, some accidental, many not, and more than one soul has ended up at the feet of the Red Iron.
Looking at these photos it makes me smile that no matter where  you photograph young people it always seems to look like an album cover.
The Red Iron Bridge, Waterford City, Ireland
The Red Iron Bridge, Waterford City, Ireland Photo: Clare Scott

I would like to thank all those who have taken part in The Festival of Bridges over the last two weeks or so. I truly appreciate your contributions and the time and effort which you devoted to them. 

When a Mermaid Opens her Purse

It was through blogging that I met Clare Scott, who has the wonderful blog, The Mermaids Purse.  We only live a few miles from each other and share a passion for nature and the sea.

While I’ve long been admiring Clare’s artwork on her blog, it was only on Saturday when I went to the opening of her art exhibition in Waterford, that I saw the true depths of her talent and creativity.

I could only chuckle to myself as I got dressed up (by my standards) to go to the opening and met Clare in a very flattering ‘little black number.’ We had never met before dressed in anything but outdoor gear ~either layers and layers of jumpers and jackets or functional swimsuits and rainbows of towels.

Clare Scott at the Exhibition Opening
Clare Scott at the Exhibition Opening

The art exhibition ShellSTONESilkBONE lures one into a world of texture and colour. Not suprisingly, the sea and the seashore feature strongly but through eyes which have clearly been captivated by the gorgeous detail of seaweed, stones,  shells …..

Clare’s ability to capture texture and bring one into folds and layers is breathtaking. I simply loved what I can only describe as ‘silk drapes’ with the light playing on them. And, this drape theme is also found in some stunning paintings of bedrooms ~ I am still haunted by one of a room in a hostel in San Francisco where the net curtains look like they are still moving after being gently twitched.

I simply couldn’t go home after seeing ShellSTONESilkBONE, which is being staged at Aoife’s Cafe and Gallery opposite historic Reginald’s Tower in Waterford City. I made my way to Garrarus Beach which is the place I most associate with Clare. With a feeling of sisterhood, I felt I should take a photograph of Garrarus as it looked while the exhibition was demanding Clare’s attentions.

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford.
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford.


ShellSTONESilkBONE runs until June 30th and is guaranteed to draw you in and soak you with new perspectives on what you may have thought was a familiar world. 


View of a Mermaid ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 344

There is considerable camaraderie among  us bloggers from Tramore and environs. Most of us found each other online and then met in person,  more by chance than anything.

The other day when I was out in Garrarus playing in the wild waves with my son and his dog, I noticed a familiar figure sitting quietly on the wall observing nature.  It was Clare Scott, talented artist, writer and photographer who crafts  that great blog:

The Mermaid’s Purse  http://clarescott.wordpress.com/

I’ve seen her in action with a sketch pad but somehow it didn’t dawn on me that she might have been capturing us running free like ‘crazy kids’, as she described us! Anyway, here’s what arrived by email this afternoon. It’s a surreal shot to match what was a great day. Thanks Clare, you’re a treasure!

'Crazy Kids in Garrarus' Photo: Clare Scott
‘Crazy Kids in Garrarus’
Photo: Clare Scott