2022, episode 2…

From cowshed to art gallery!

My (future) Art Gallery has a new roof !

Allihies, April 24, the end of an Easter break for many… A very, very busy week of hard work for us !

Neil, our younger son is a student at the well renowned Atlantic Technology University GMIT of Letterfrack. For Easter break he was more than happy to come home and use his woodwork skills to work with his dad on the challenging task of building a roof ( and to make a few bob!…).

A precise and short-ish time frame for this huge job, we all crossed our fingers for the Irish weather to support us! … And it did, well apart from some little showers here and then, but that didn’t even stop the Easter Bunny to drop chocolate eggs in the garden !…

So the first week was about taking down the old roof. We kept the old shed floor to use as a scaffolding ( of course this will go after the work on the roof is done!)… With all the holes and rotten wood I was feeling a bit unsure, but the boys assured me that it was “grand”…

As soon as the work started, it drew a huge interest from the locals who stopped by to congratulate us for the project while keeping the beauty of the old cowshed . They all gave us precious support, whether with the loan of tools, a few hours of hands on, some useful builder tips or just warming encouragements. One of the beautiful privilege of living in a remote small village !

At the back of the building we planned a small carpark and green area (where people can chat under the irish sun as they enjoy their opening drink !…).
Kevin Tim came with his magical dinosaur-like machine : he leveled the ground , organised big stones around a flower bed, spread out a huge amount of gravels… I find it so fascinating (almost meditative!) to watch him working with this articulated metal beast, so well tamed that I’m sure he could pick a feather in its mouth !…

By the second week the building had started, on top of the new hand made concrete wall plates. Carpentry, joints and alignment, sheeting, insulation, roofing, facia, ridge, and the addition of 2 big veluxes at the back. A few long and exhausting days for Richie and Neil, braving the “Scaraveen”, our local seasonal Eastern cold wind….( As a result, they both caught a sore throat and cough, but not covid! )

Because we wanted to preserve the character of the building we choose to use corrugated as roofing. The four stone walls will stay untouched outside, keeping their precious story through time, with lichens and grasses free to grow.

Meanwhile, my artistic touch found different ways to express itself. Planning and planting the green area around the gallery, painting the sheets of plywood for the roof, and some framing in my “kitchen-studio”!…( Oh, and some Easter Bunny stuff!… )

These 2 weeks have been intense and exciting. Hard. Happy. Exhausting. Satisfying. Stressful. Fun.


On a family point of view, it has been amazing :

Our elder son Tom happens to be back home too, for 2 months of intense studying ( final year of a physics degree with Open University). The 4 of us living together again for a little while as a family and a team is so lovely !

…I forgot though, the amount of food young lads eat !….

So of course… I did looooots of creative cooking !

The next episode of this adventure will be about the interior “amenagements” of the gallery… It’s also time to decide of a name for the gallery ! If you have ideas please let me know !…

Richie’s short time lapse film of the roof going up !…