castle gardens map

2024. Digital illustration/photo montage. 

Left and above: Details taken from cyanotype prints made at various stages of the ‘maps’ evolution.

The Map is Not the Territory

What began last summer as a simple list, hastily jotted down amidst the allure of Lisburn’s Castle Gardens, has, over a six-month period, organically developed into a map of sorts, largely focusing on the historically significant gardens but also encompassing the Market House (now Lisburn Museum and Irish Linen Centre) and Lisburn Cathedral, St. Nicholas’, within its scope.

As I immersed myself in the gardens’ history, exploring dates and details, I found that while it added depth, it also dimmed the enchantment of my initial experience. Thus, I veered away from factual minutiae, choosing instead to capture the essence of this place and its vibrant past through a pictorial lens. My creation, though loosely tethered to geography, seeks to act as both a guide and a source of mystery, a map that’s twists and turns meander through both time and space. Embracing a whimsical interpretation of the park’s topography, I interweave symbolism and metaphor to convey its rich tapestry of tales, liberating myself from the constraints of a traditional map or timeline.

I had thought that perhaps I should provide a companion guide to aid in unraveling the many references embedded within the ‘map,’ I’ve opted instead (save for some subtle cues within the image) to leave the joy of discovery to the viewer. I have, instead, provided a (nearly) complete list of people, places and things included within the map.

I encourage each curious mind to embark on an exploration of this captivating little corner of the world, allowing the thrill of wonder and revelation to become uniquely their own.

Referenced within the map, in no particular order:

  • Crimean Cannon
  • Lillian Metge
  • Louis Crommelin
  • Conway Family
  • Conn O’Neill
  • Wallace Fountain
  • Market House
  • Henry Munro
  • Egret Fountain
  • United Irishmen
  • Peace Monument
  • Peron Garden
  • Lisburn Fire
  • East Castle Gate 
  • Bomb Shelter
  • Sir Robert’s Oak
  • Richard Wallace
  • River Lagan
  • Lady Jane Finch
  • Egan Harp
  • Flora and Bird Species
  • Forbes, McDonald & Coote


Various elements in their development.

Trial cyanotype prints of an earlier version of the map.

Snake Charmer Basket

2021. Oak log. Hessian string. Flexible metal rod.

Originally planned as a snake charmer’s basket sat on a tree stump and carved from a single piece of Oak. Later, the basket became a base for an articulated ‘cobra’ lamp arm. However, after much experimentation trying to carve a cobra head shade for the bulb, I failed to find a satisfactory design solution that would provided a pleasing quality of light, and I eventually abandoned the idea.

Above and below: Earlier examples of carving with a progression towards the finished basket idea through the hollowed ‘Shrink Pot’ vase and the mixed material  polymer clay/stone/wood incense burners, island and cottage models.

The ‘Basket’ in its present manifestation, a vase.