With the naming of the recent Leighton print as ‘Ballyhamage’, I wanted to send out a personal note of thanks and acknowledgment to all who generously offered their suggestions.
I initially thought this process would be an easy one, but as the entries came in I quickly realized I hadn’t anticipated how other people would read into it. All your suggestions and comments conjured up unique insights and visual interpretations. I was highly impressed by everyone’s efforts and consequently found my mind turning this way and that trying to make a decision. I was surprised, awestruck, and on occasion, a little confounded by the originality and possibilities they provided.
From ‘Continuity’, a reference to the ongoing legacy that is the Leighton Arts Centre, to ‘Beyond’, a nod to something more intriguing and mysterious, they all had my mind in a tizzy. ‘Out of The Shadows’, ‘Seclusion’, ‘Fortitude’ – were all great pointers to a particular theme - one that I hadn't envisioned. You all had me thinking. Deeply.
But time and again I was drawn back to ‘Ballyhamage’. To my mind, it has a gentle sound that fits the tranquil setting of the printed image. But more specifically it was the name given to the original 1919 one-roomed school house nearby. The house we know today was built in the 1950s and named Ballyhamage after it. When A.C Leighton passed away Barbara Leighton purchased the Ballyhamage schoolhouse and turned it into an art studio. With all these historial details and as the Leightons Arts Centre is a Historical Heritage building in itself, I think the name of Ballyhamage is a significant focal point for the Leighton legacy …and there’s no more logical way to recognize this fact than to name it so.
And the winner of the prize? Bonnie Gerard. Congratulations Bonnie! She did some research on the place and came up with the golden nugget that secured her chosen print, January, from A Year in Trees collection. Here is what she had to say,
“I have enjoyed following Lenny’s artistic journey immensely and, through his blog, feel as though I have been along for the exciting and inspiring ride. When he put out the call to help him name one of his precious pieces, I felt I owed it to him to research a bit more of the history of the Leighton Centre, which is where I discovered the reference to Ballyhamage. I was secretly hoping that a kilt-wearing, cowboy hat-sporting Scotsman was the original owner, but perhaps that is history in the making.” She's a funny one! Thanks Bonnie!
A warm and sincere thank you to everyone for taking part, and commiserations to all who didn’t win this time. However, I hope you’ll agree that this was fun and I‘m sure you’ll get another opportunity. I’m currently working on a large series of ranch inspired works – lots of them! …surely you’ll get it next time?