I've just returned from eight glorious days in Ireland - one of which I boarded the little ferry at Ballycastle harbour and sailed choppily to Rathlin Island with Finn and Paddy in tow. It's a wild, stark landscape that sings to my soul; the light has a strange luminous quality that makes the colours of the island cloak the terrain in an incredible harmony. After spending much of my life traversing the globe in an exploration of what it means to be a tiny human on this beautiful planet, I'm increasingly drawn to the place of my roots - seeing and sensing all the answers I need right there in the place of my birth.
I spent two hours travelling the length and breadth of the island and photographing the wealth of textures and colours - visiting the 'upside down' lighthouse and seabird centre where the first birds are beginning to build their nests for spring. After a quick lunch, I was fortunate enough to be able to set up my sewing machine in the cute Breakwater Studio, run by artist Yvonne Braithwaite and her husband. Surrounded by Yvonne's paintings, I happily stitched into paper that I had dyed using natural colourants including blackberries, leaves and rust. Images from around the island were my inspiration.
Maybe I needed to travel great distances in order to really appreciate what I grew up with right on my doorstep. Falling in love with Ireland has made me ponder on the famous book by Paulo Coelho 'The Alchemist' in which he writes 'Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.'
Janey grew up in Northern Ireland surrounded by guns and potatoes. Out of this conflicted experience she came to believe that there are three main important life lessons: freedom to express what lies within you is the ultimate gift; everything in this universe is connected; you must learn to accept that life is a great mystery. She has two sons called Finn and Paddy, and she enjoys taking them on adventures.