Helen Caird – An Inspirational Artistic Champion of the Natural World

I am deeply honoured that my good friend and wildlife artist extraordinaire Helen Caird has asked me to be the guest speaker at the launch of her wonderfully inspiring exhibition that will take place at 7pm this Friday at the Oughterard Courthouse.
Based on the interconnecting themes of 'Roots, Vessels and Gold', Helen’s new solo show gives true artistic expression to the deep love and inherent respect that she feels towards the rest of Nature.
For ten years, her drawings of birds, insects, fish, trees, mammals, flowers and fungi have enriched the Terryland Forest Park experience for the schools, colleges and the general public visiting this community-driven urban natural heritage sanctuary. Her images have formed the basis for a network of exciting park’s trails, each with their own story, which has ensured that field trips for young people in particular are not only scientific but also artistic. 
The very first time I saw one of her illustrations in 2010 commissioned for the forest park, I was spellbound, totally transfixed. It took my breath away and I have remained in awe of her works ever since. For Helen gives a spiritual essence, an individual personality and deep beauty to each of her wildlife subjects in a way that seems to magically transform these paper drawings and canvas paintings into living pulsating beings right before your eyes.
As a person immersed in science and technology, I can honestly say that no photograph can capture the inner essence of a creature of the wild like a drawing done by the hand of Helen Caird.
Artists have a special creative insight ( a third ‘eye’) that gives an extra benign dimension to our lives.
In a world where biodiversity is suffering like never before in human history, we need champions like Helen to reveal why we all need to be ‘defenders of the wild’.
Helen is a champion of the Galway National Park City initiative and has been proudly proclaimed by her fellow Tuatha volunteers of Terryland Forest Park the artist-in-residence of Ireland’s largest urban native woodland.

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