Lifestyle, Travel

Good Moods and Garden Sculpture

September 13, 2016

Good Mood and Garden Sculpture

How many times have you heard how great you’ll feel if you get outside and into nature? I’ve read several papers on the science behind it, have seen the positive and powerful effects that being in a community garden has on people’s good mood, and yet it still takes me by surprise. The power of nature on our mental health was really bought home to me this summer when Mr G and I met up with old friends and headed over to the Wild Atlantic Way for eight nights in our camper vans.

Taking two teenage girls away in a medium wheelbase converted Transit could have been a recipe for disaster, and it wasn’t without its moments, yet it worked. Three nights at Eagle Point near Bantry, three at Pure Camping on Loop Head then two at Lakeside, Mountshannon were exactly what we all needed.

Blessed with fantastic weather which enabled us to sit outside until midnight and master the art of cooking pizza on a BBQ, we were able to chat and laugh and catch up while we watched the Perseid meteor shower from wobbly camper chairs. Thanks to a lucky break in the weather, we were also able to see the dramatic landscapes of Beara Peninsula, swim in the crystal clear waters at the Bridges of Ross and kayak in Lough Derg, all of which could have gone horribly wrong if the unpredictable Irish weather had filled the skies with drizzle and cloud.

Yet it was the couple of hours spent at The Ewe Experience Gallery and Sculpture Garden in Glengarriff, West Cork where I witnessed a teenage transformation. Our 15-year-old didn’t want to walk around a garden that we’d found details of on a rack in the campsite office and she certainly didn’t want to look at sculptures made of recycled stuff. She was very happy to share her displeasure with anyone within a couple of metres, be it with cutting looks, snappy comebacks or simply body language that oozed angst. We knew we had a long drive ahead of us as we moved to the next site so didn’t give her the option of staying behind in the van. We paid the inexpensive fee to enter the garden and hoped for the best.

Good Mood and Garden Sculpture

It’s difficult to know how to begin to describe the enchanting sculpture trail that enfolded before us. The Ewe garden is a nature trail lined with art, sculpture, games, facts as well as lots of quiet, contemplative thought. It’s a place of wonder and discovery and two hours isn’t enough to stop and read, see and do everything in it. Privately owned yet publicly shared, artist Sheena and her writer husband Kurt have filled the twisty, hilly woodland that the river and waterfall run through, with pieces that will inspire, bring a smile and transform you. I can testify that our grouchy teen came out the other side a beautiful, happy human being once more who wanted to talk about the pieces that caught her eye. She also had my camera so all the photos shared below are from her viewpoint, almost all of which are different from the ones I took on my phone.

Coincidentally, before we set off for Clare, Mr G had begun creating his own piece of recycled sculpture for the Global Green Community Garden at Electric Picnic that I was coordinating for organisers Cultivate. Ian was like a child in a toy shop the afternoon we visited ReCreate to pick out materials for the sculpture and only had the finishing touches to add when we returned from our holiday.

Good Moods and Garden Sculpture

Ian Sewell

The concept of the piece was something like “Adam and Eve, the first community gardeners were lured out of the garden by the golden ‘apple’ and all the shiny bling that technology brings with it, yet there’s still hope, a child’s hand reaches out of the top clutching a dove of peace”

The artistic flair that Ian has shared with us is relatively new, but judging by the amount of people who photographed the piece at the Music and Arts Festival, his skills didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. I’m looking forward to more of his creations and perhaps this is the beginning of a sculpture garden in County Carlow, unless you’ve any other ideas what to do with a 12 foot golden mannequin concept tree…?


  • Reply Naomi September 15, 2016 at 11:37 am

    That sounds like a brilliant holiday, how did you manage to bribe the Irish Weather Gods? I love the sculptures and Ian is certainly pulling out all the creative stops this Summer. I am looking forward to hearing about his next invention.

    • Reply Dee Sewell September 16, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Couldn’t believe how lucky we were with the weather Naomi, it would have been a different holiday altogether in the drizzle!

  • Reply Amanda Webb September 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I love sculpture gardens too. I saw the Barbara Hepworth one in St. Ives last year and loved it. I also love camping although I’ve never tried a campervan. Good weather certainly helps.

    • Reply Dee Sewell September 17, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      There used to be sculptures dotted around the Discovery Park in Castlecomer but I think they’re all gone now. It can be fun looking for them; in all reality, our woods are a bit small. The campervan is a new (old) addition this year and we bought it in an attempt to take time off and it’s working! We were always camping in the past but the warmth, comfort and convenience of the van makes it so much more enjoyable and makes us want to visit more of Ireland as a result.

  • Reply Gillian Purser August 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    We went there maybe 18 years ago and they also had a little workshop where you could make little sculptures and windchimes.

    • Reply Dee Sewell September 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      I love how it evolves every year Gillian, definitely wouldn’t tire of a return visit.

  • Reply Michael  June 25, 2018 at 5:24 am

    Sculptures are a form of art and it requires an artistic mind to enjoy the beauty of sculptures. Great skills are needed to make sculptures out of recycled goods.

    • Reply Dee Sewell July 15, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Have you been? It’s quite inspirational.


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