Getting to know the artist
I was born in London, 1968 and brought up in south county Dublin attending school at St. Joseph of Cluny. I subsequently studied in both Maynooth and Trinity. I had a keen interest in hockey and played for school, club, province and country.
I first entered the Benedictines but subsequently transferred to the Cistercians. And here I am at Glencairn. I have survived alcoholism (not mine) and cancer (mine) and have been blessed in the School of Love and the power of Christ’s grace.
My love of all creatures great and small began at home in my mother’s wonderful garden, in the company of her first pet cat, Tiger, who travelled with us from England in 1973.
My Mum had a great appreciation of the English garden and brought that back with her when she returned to Ireland. She dug out two ponds, fed the birds, delighted the squirrels with copious peanuts, disposed of leftovers to the fox and banged on the window as the heron hovered over the pond. My brother and I played with the tadpoles and frogs, chased butterflies and smashed her flowers when playing football.
At the time I didn’t realize how deeply all this was impressing itself upon my soul, because like many kids I just took it all for granted. I was always mad about our pet cats, they were like real members of the family.
The community here have always had dogs, which was a massive treat for me. A four-legged animal that actually wanted to go for walks, swim in the river and just kept smiling at you! I was also part of the milking team when we had a dairy herd here and became responsible for looking after the calves for a period of four years.
During the first COVID lockdown our Abbess challenged me to “see if you can be a positive presence on social media”. We already had a Facebook page so I thought I would explore Twitter. I found its style suited me because I am drawn to visuals and am naturally brief. I had a camera and started to take pictures from my perspective.
The response on Twitter was very positive and appreciative and thus I gradually came to realize I have some talent and Glencairn has a lot to offer. Our surroundings are rich with wildlife of all kinds - we are spoilt for choice - so to be able to share its’ bounty with others is both a pleasure and a gift.
Sr. Michelle Miller