Boundary Wall – Time Lapse Painting

Boundry Wall

Boundry Wall

In every part of Ireland you will see walls like these. Usually they are associated with an estate or landlord’s residence. Many were built as famine relief work in the 1840’s. At that time, the social structure was landlords and tenants, similar to the rest of the United Kingdom. Tenants rented small holdings from the landlord and paid rent in the form of a portion of their produce. In Ireland there was one major difference to the situation that existed in the United Kingdom. Here, the landlord was usually a ‘planter’, that is,  English or Scottish, planted on the land in place of the de-possessed Irish chiefs. Some landlords treated their tenants very well and some did not. But nevertheless, having a non indigenous aristocracy was a social structure doomed to failure. This came during the Irish War of Independence in 1920. Some of the ‘bad’ landlords were attacked and their houses burned. Others, including some ‘good’, took fright and abandoned their estates. When the Irish Free State was formed, the Land Commission divided many of these abandoned estates and distributed the land among the former tenants. The estates were gone but the boundary walls still remain. Here is a poem titled “The Planter’s Daughter’ by Austin Clarke and gives a flavour of the position of the landlord in Irish society prior to independence. There’s an interesting discussion on the poem here.

The Planter’s Daughter

When night stirred at sea
And the fire brought a crowd in,
They say that her beauty
Was music in mouth
And few in the candlelight
Thought her too proud,
For the house of the planter
Is known by the trees.

Men that had seen her
Drank deep and were silent,
The women were speaking
Wherever she went –
As a bell that is rung
Or a wonder told shyly,
And O she was the Sunday
In every week.

Here is the video of the above painting. Materials and method similar to last painting. See you soon.