A Hymn to Hands
In praise of Leitrim Design House
A Rodin exhibition in the Hugh Lane Gallery,
Do Not Touch the Sculptures.
I ached, touched, furtive.
No such sign at Leitrim Design.
Lukasz’ woven willow balances on my palm
a crate of cradled air.
Catríona’s silks slide, whisperylight,
beside Niki Collier’s dayglo felt.
A chunk of bogoak, darkness wrapped in dark.
The sculptor – Daithí O Gallachóir,
I like the nimble strangeness
wrapped inside his name –
has resisted the urge to find
in the rough, buried wood
a sleek, recognisable bird, has trusted
to the gnarled and glorious mess
of nature’s given, like Michelangelo
who saw David in the marble
before he made him visible.
I hug my handbag to my chest for fear of swing and crash:
Ayelet Lalor’s sinuous Divas,
Edyta’s zany ceramic ladies, their stubby wings,
their floppy, frozen hats.
Even the words entice:
Wheel Thrown Stoneware.
I hymn the hands of the makers,
named and unnamed, then circle,
a hawk closing in
on my lottowin desire:
Frances Crowe’s tapestry.
Three birds ascend against furrow and hedge.
In the distance
a pale grey silhouette.
In the middledistance
In woolly closeup, falling
shaggily crisp, a bluegreentealredmauvemagentapink
bird of northern paradise.
an arrowbird in turquoise flight.
out of the edge of the frame, crisply shaggy,