Forest Saint

One of the towns in Ireland where my family are from is a place called Ballyvourney, which has many charms, one of which is an incredible medieval statue of the local Saint Gobnait, referred to sometimes as a relic. It is made of wood and looks very old and worn and full of a strange and sacred spirit.

Gobnait is one of those uniquely Irish saints, I think, whose story is so rich in Medieval Irish folklore. She was commanded by an Angel to seek ‘the place of her resurrection’, and travelled until she came upon a herd of nine white deer, where she settled and established her church, which was Ballyvourney.

I am particularly taken by the ‘relic’, which feels like my kind of Catholicism, infused with magic and strangeness and some kind of terror. So in response, I wanted to create a series of Saint figures for mysterious crumbling churches that you might only stumble upon when you get lost in the mist in creeping woods and eerie landscapes.

Here is the first.

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