From the beginning of it's creation, Celtic Fusion Design has focused on drawing inspiration from the natural world. Because of my art's connection to nature, I have worked to be aware of its environmental impacts throughout its creation. Now, I am working to not only prevent the negative impact of the clothing industry with my art, but to also create an entirely new positive impact.
Trees have always been a particularly strong theme in my work – ranging anywhere from tree of life artwork, oak-themed brooches and pieces that incorporate hawthorn. In fact, trees are not only a fountain of inspiration for me, but for many people here in Ireland. For a country that has very few trees, it seems like a curious thing to dwell on. But, evidence suggests that our entire island used to be saturated with ancient oak forests from coast to coast. Because of Ireland's history of colonization, those forests are long gone, but the cultural memory of them is not.
Like many pre-christian spiritualities, the tree was seen as a human connection to the earth for ancient civilisation. Many Irish stories and traditions still cite trees as being crucial to a connection to both the earth and the otherworld. Traditions that include tying an item of a departed loved one to a tree next to a holy well to insure that they are cared for in the afterlife, using Ogham sticks (made of very specific branches from very specific trees) to look into the future, tying wishes to faerie trees (usually hawthorn), and more have kept the connection to the old way of Ireland alive in its present day culture.
With this in mind, I have decided to partner with a local organisation here in County Clare called Hometree - a group of incredible people who are working to plant biodiverse forests in the West of Ireland that can be enjoyed for generations to come. With every purchase from Celtic Fusion Design, I will be donating €3 to Hometree; the price it costs to plant one tree.
Reviving the forests that used to exist in Ireland is both symbolically and quite literally, a way to revive the ideas and traditions that have almost been forgotten so many times before. In this way, I hope that the sales of Celtic Fusion are now helping to not only physically plant those forests, but to also revive the interest in those aspects of Irish culture through my narrative and designs.
Find out more about Hometree here.