The artist, Marina Carrier after some time in Edinburgh, and Kintyre, spent nearly 2 years on the Isle of Mull, most of the time focussed on daily life at Kilninian Church. This was in 2011/12, at the beginning phase of Kilninian Church becoming the church of a new monastery. Catholic monks, had donated the church to the Orthodox Church via the artist. During this time she was living either in a caravan at Killiechronan, or over-wintering with generous friends at Kilbrennan farmhouse.
Mull is inordinately beautiful, and at the same time challenging to live with – see the painting of Kilninian Church with the autumn trees in June due to the devastating wind in May (2011). Other trees were stripped of all leaves and twigs, and when the warm weather of July invited growth, the leaves were coming out of the trunks. A visitor to the church from Australia said the same thing happened after bush fires when the trees had appeared to be dead.
The winter was exceedingly wet, and wellington’s were everyday, all day, footwear. It certainly gave a new perspective on ‘wet-weather’ gear! Vanity disappeared completely under at least 3 or 4 layers of clothing, in order to keep warm!
But all of the above was made nothing by the wonder of both the beauty of the landscape and flowers, and the spiritual history of the place. Iona in particular has been called a ‘thin’ place, and Kilninian’s Christian history certainly goes back a 1000 years, and probably to St Columba’s times.
Although the artist is now off the island, the plans for the monastery are evolving. Funds are being raised for the purchase of the land behind the church to build the monastery living quarters, the Building Regulations costs, and the foundational work of establishing a water supply and septic tank. 50% of all proceeds of the exhibition will be going to the monastery funds. 100% of the purchase price of the painting of Kilninian Church will go to the monastery.