Friday, June 24, 2016

Flower wisdom

This absolutely beautiful flower, a new edition to my garden (name escaped me, sorry) 
is a brilliant example to take your time to present yourself to the world ...

To realy make the most of when the sun shines 

... and to protect yourself when the conditions are not quite right.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bird entertainment

I am still a great lover of watching the birds outside my window.
This is a great tit and her young, feeding on the nut feeder, just a meter away from where I sat.

The following day the fledgeling was on the feeder on its own.

I realized that it has an injured- or malformed foot. It does not seem to be hampered by it.

An inspiration!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Full Circle Exhibition at Kenmare's Carnegie Arts Centre

My Full Circle Exhibition opens at the Carnegie Art Centre in Kenmare, Co. Kerry (Ireland) on the 1st July 2016. The works will be introduced by family members of Brushwood Studios.
It is a celebration and glimpse into my creative life during the experience of illness, which includes screening of some short documentaries.
The exhibition is open from Tuesday till Saturday for the month of July.

There are a few Fantasy Folk Artist Dolls from the era before illness changed my life in 1998.
My four books are available, Into the Light bookmarks and prints, a series of art postcards, and of course my sculptures and tapestries.

Some of the older sculptures are available through 'secret auction'. The highest bidder will be notified at the end of July. This way there is something for everybody, from a postcard for €1, books from €5, prints from €10, and sculptures from €50 upwards.

I hope you can join us in Kenmare!

Some background details, taken from the Full Circle Exhibition Brochure:


Corina Duyn trained and worked in her native Holland as palliative care nurse and social care worker. Her artistic career started with a move to Ireland in 1989. Her Fantasy Folk Artist Dolls are in private and corporate collections in Ireland, Europe and USA. A few of the Waterford Crystal Dolls (1998) are for sale at this exhibition.
From 1998 Corina embarked on a new creative journey, unwittingly mapping out an account of her experiences of living with chronic illness (M.E.) through words and art. Living life in the slow lane she became a great observer of her immediate natural surroundings, which became the way to express and explore her new life.

The early theme was the life cycle of a bird. Starting life afresh as the embryo in an egg -growing into an adult bird.  These first eight years are shared through images and very short observations in her first book Hatched. This story of a ‘new’ life was also beautifully documented in two documentaries Fit to Fly (David Begley) and the Flight Path (Katie Lincoln). Both documentaries are available for viewing during this exhibition. (And youtube channel flyingonlittlewings)

Corina’s other books are Cirrus Chronicles 2009, Flying on Little Wings 2011, and Into the Light book-in-a-box 2015, about which Author and Visionary Sister Stan expressed in a recent talk: “Into the Light is not just an ordinary book; it is a deeply spiritual, inspirational work. The story of challenges overcomes through courage, of fear overcome by hope, of darkness overcome by light. It makes for an extraordinary presentation.”

After reaching a new level of acceptance, Corina’s artwork changed to explore the experience of being more grounded and rooted. This acceptance was also the seed for Corina to attend a year of Disability Studies at UCC in 2012/13. This course greatly influenced her focus in life and art, and was the start of the Into the Light project, which was supported by the Rehab Group Visual and Performing Arts Fund 2014.
Managing her creative life by doing everything 20 minutes at a time, her current focus in her art is dance and movement. The first in this new departure was facilitating the Life Outside the Box Puppet Project, funded by Create/Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme. This was an eight-month project with her fellow members at the Irish Wheelchair Association. The book and short video are included in the exhibition.
Her most recent sculpture (Birth Dance) and tapestry (Autumn Joy) are the centerpieces of this Full Circle exhibition. She hopes to explore this theme further through sculpture, tapestry, writing and animation and film. Her early love for the birds remain a feature in her work.

Funding for a new documentary about the power of nature, stillness and creativity to aid further healing will be sought in the very near future.

If you would like to hear about any further exhibitions, or books, please sign the mailing list, or connect via

Friday, June 17, 2016

Birth Dance and Full Circles

The other day I heard someone on the radio making a distinction between threat and challenges, and I thought, yes, I suppose I didn't see illness as a threat but more as a challenge.

And a challenge it was, and sometimes still is... There is rarely a week or day when my body doesn't remind me who is in control.
Yes 'we' have found ways to work together.
Meditation. Stillness. Nature. Creativity. Writing. Social contact.
The activities on the list are all to be done in short spells of time. But, even within this short spurts of activity, a whole lot can be achieved. It just takes a "little" longer. (Maybe "little" is an understatement?)
My sculpture "Birth Dance" took five months to make.
But I can't be less proud of the result. (See sculpture in the making here)
Birth Dance © Corina Duyn 2016 (approx 60x60x60cm)

I have come to understand that my art pieces often reflect 'where I am at' in life.  These connections sometimes took me years to see. Maybe I am a little more aware at this stage. I might not yet be dancing (as in dance as we know it) but I have moments of feeling the dance of life.

I had wanted to create a dance sculpture after my stay at Annaghmakerrig in 2013. On the last day I had found myself alone in the dance studio, staring at my own image in the wall to wall mirrors. A slightly uncomfortable event at first. In my head I am as free as a bird. The reality was that I was out of breath from walking up the path. I was held upright by two walking sticks. My movements were not exaclty gracious. I must admit that for the first twenty minutes or so I looked out the window, my back towards the mirrors. I had to build up the courage to really see.

The sculpture however did not come. 
I did start with the head and body for a puppet. It wasn't great. 

My creative spirit obviously had other plans for me.
I wrote Into the Light over a two year period.

During this time I created sculptures like these:
Sinking, Reaching Out and Emerging, ...

Out of the Box, ...

and Wisdom.

I obviously had some more learning to do before I could enjoy the dance!

There are days in the past few months that I feel a change is happening in my body. In my life. But before I get too complacent my body gives me reminders not to start looking at dance classes as yet, or at the bicycle I might want to buy...
All in good time. Patience. And Practice.

In two weeks time though I have an exhibition at Carnegie Arts Centre in Kenmare which I have given the title Full Circle

Full Circle as in returning to the first town I lived in after moving to Ireland- half my life time ago.
Full Circle in terms of the bicycle wheel of my past (maybe my future) and the wheelchair wheel of the present.
Full Circle as in having learned a great deal from the experience of illness, and having found a way to be well, although in a different way.
Full Circle that I have been teaching again, like my last job when becoming ill in 1998.

More about the exhibition in the next blog post, but for now, see Details  here

Thanks for joining me on my little planet in cyberspace.
I would love to hear from you. And if you comment here, than others can see it too.

Best wishes to you.