The British surrealist painter and writer Ithell Colquhoun recalls episodes from her travels in Ireland as a young woman turning her back on the modern world and setting out across the unruly Irish countryside. Here, among the holy wells, monasteries and tumuli, she finds a canvas on which her sensibility and animist beliefs can freely express themselves. Her style is beguiling, her voice sincere, and through her unique perceptions we discover a land that is fiercely alive and compelling. It is a place where the wind cries, the stones tell old tales and the mountains watch over the roads and those who travel on them. By intuiting the eerie magic of Ireland, Colquhoun casts her own spell. She offers up a land of myth and legend, stripped of its modern signs, at the same time offering herself to the reader in this portrait of the artist as a young woman.
Ithell Colquhoun (1906-1988) was a painter and writer whose works contributed greatly to the British Surrealist movement before and after World War II. Her phantasmagoric landscapes and penetrating portraits hang on the walls of major galleries across the UK. Her work is informed by a profound understanding of animism, the esoteric and the occult. These preoccupations are most observable in her writing, such as Goose of Hermogenes and I Saw Water. Stewart Lee is an award-winning stand up comedian and writer.