Inner Garden State

Diana Copperwhite

Diana Copperwhite (born 1969), oil on canvas, 120 x 180 cm, The O'Brien Collection


Diana Copperwhite lives and works in Dublin. In 2012, she was a resident artist at the Josef Albers Foundation Connecticut, USA. She was a finalist in the Guasch Coranty Fundacio Painting Prize, Centre Cultural Metropolita Tecia Sala, Barcelona (2008) and was winner of the AIB Art Prize (2007).

Ms. Copperwhite's work has been featured in numerous solo shows in Ireland and Europe. Her work is held by such public and private collections as the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Arts Council of Ireland, the O'Brien Collection, and the Limerick City Gallery of Art.


O'Brien Collection Curator Marty Fahey proposes a few pairings to amplify viewers' experiences with "Inner Garden State":

First, a poem:

"The start of a New Year (especially after the year we just have endured) should commence with a blessing.

“'Beannacht' ('Blessing' in Irish)  was penned by the famous Irish poet/ author/theologian and mystic, John O’Donohue, after the passing of his own mother. While it acknowledges that difficulty and loss are present in all of our lives, it expresses hope that in those moments we are comforted and cradled by the healing powers of beauty, of nature, and of nature's colors and attributes." 


By John O’Donohue 

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

John O'Donohue

from Echoes of Memory (Transworld Publishing, 2010)

["I first heard this poem read by John O'Donohue on a wonderful radio program, “On Being”  with host Krista Tippett, in the midst of an interview with him (entitled The Inner Landscape of Beauty)  before his untimely passing in 2008. That episode has gone on to be the single most requested/searched for episode of that show. There is both an abridged and an unabridged version of that interview. I recommend the latter. O’Donohue’s heartfelt and articulate insights on the transformative power of “Beauty” in our lives is truly unforgettable."]

As for musical selections to inspire viewers' examination of "Inner Garden State," Mr. Fahey provides two Irish options . . . and one that is not Irish.

(1)  Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Thomas Bartlett-Kestrel


(2) Ryan Molloy, Hop Jigs













(3) Max Richter-“Dream 3” (In the Midst of my Life)