My Weekend: Out and about... three generations on the road  adventuring together

For Julie Forrester, satisfaction can be found from the simple things in life
My Weekend: Out and about... three generations on the road  adventuring together

Artist Julie Forrester.

Artist Julie Forrester will give a fascinating insight into the Glen River Park as part of a virtual event to mark Cork Heritage Open Day on August 14.


Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am an artist blown in to West Cork as a child with my family in the 1970s. My parents had a dream to work with their hands and imaginations in a beautiful place that reminded them of home, and we began our Corkonian lives with another family, running a grocery shop in Courtmacsherry, while the adults were building a pottery and painting studio.

I have memories of giant crabs crawling across the kitchen floor, fresh off the fishing boats, and long days wandering through the village and woods exploring the coves along the shore. These beginnings have been formative in my work as an artist who doesn’t see a distinction between art and life.

I now have my own studio practice in Cork City and work with people to nurture creativity. 

I work regularly with the Crawford Art Gallery — a perfect place to appreciate art and explore our own creative voices.

I love working with children, and do many projects with schools and community groups up and down the country. There is currently a fantastic swell of appreciation and engagement with the arts.

My daughter is also an artist, and we have the pleasure of working together on occasion. We are currently collaborating to deliver a Creative Enquiry with young Traveller children and their families with Cork Midsummer Festival and Springboard.

What is your ideal Friday night?

My ideal Friday night begins at home with my cat and my partner, just hanging out and letting the night unfold.

Lie-ins or up with the lark... which is it for you?

I am a lazy lark, I love the mornings, but I find it hard to be in bed before midnight. 

My ideal day would involve an afternoon siesta to catch the day at both ends.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

My ‘work’ and ‘life’ are entwined — but I try to keep the weekends free of paperwork and tasks I find arduous.

If money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I once lived in the country with a beautiful clifftop sea view, and a friend once said, this would be perfect if New York was at the back! In my imagination I’d love to go to Istanbul, Reykjavik, Paris, New York, but really, I have no desire for a city break.

Julie will give an insight into The Glen River Park, as part of Cork Heritage Open Day on August 14.
Julie will give an insight into The Glen River Park, as part of Cork Heritage Open Day on August 14.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

The Glen River Park. I have lived beside this place for nearly 20 years, and since ‘the great pause’ it has been my second home. 

I can spend hours in this enchanted valley, and each time I enter I feel like Alice slipping down the rabbit hole.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

I visit my mum in West Cork most weekends, she has a sprawling garden that is partially re-wilded so we’re usually out there with the plants. My favourite weekends are when we are out and about with my daughter, three generations on the road, adventuring together. We like to visit fairy forts and stone circles.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

My partner is a fantastic and adventurous cook (a carnivore who cooks for a vegan!) And we are late eaters — 9pm would be early for us, and so we rarely eat out unless we are away. Our go-to Cork eatery is Sakura on MacCurtain St, creatures of habit, I love the tofu steaks and he loves the seafood tempura.

Sunday night comes around too fast ... how do you normally spend it?

Sunday night is often on the road back from my mum’s, then home winding down.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

Monday morning I’m up and ready for my 7.15am yoga class online with Himalaya Yoga Valley.

UPCOMING EVENT: Cork Heritage Open Day

Take a step back in time and enjoy over 45 guided tours of historic buildings in Cork as Cork Heritage Open Day takes place online on Saturday August 14. See www.corkheritageopenday.ie and discover a wide range of Cork buildings including Riverstown House in Glanmire, the Quaker Meeting House and Graveyard, The Courthouse on Washington St, Ballincollig Gunpowder Mills, Blarney Castle, St Luke’s Church, and the Military Museum at Collins Barracks.

Cork Heritage Open Day also celebrates natural heritage. The website features a wonderful guided tour of the Mangala in Douglas with William O’Halloran and a fascinating insight into the Glen River Park with Julie Forrester and Gerard O’Brien.

The www.corkheritageopenday.ie website will go live on Saturday, August 14 to mark Cork Heritage Open Day.

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