From the picturesque town of Malin, you can follow a series of quirky signs entitled “paintings”. On arrival you will encounter a collection of lovingly restored traditional buildings. At the front door of a large ivy covered building you will be welcomed by acclaimed artist and native of Malin, Ros Harvey, who will guide you to a showroom, pictured below.
Inspired By The Inishowen Landscape
The showroom, originally a Cow Byre, has a warm and inviting feel, their you will discover a collection of stunning paintings and prints. The room hints at a love of craft as well as art, amplified by uniquely carved chairs. You will find a collection of books and prints that reflect a passion for myth and folklore, alongside a love of the sea and landscape. I later learnt that myth and folklore is largely a passion of Tim Stamptons. Tim, a print maker and illustrator, who established Ballagh Studio with Ros in 1988.
Dramatic seascapes and landscapes on display are inspired by the rugged and diverse landscape in Inishowen. Many scenes capture nearby Trawbeaga Bay, the Isle of Doagh and other iconic locations around the peninsula. Ros captures the power of the sea beautifully in her work stating that it is the “Rocks, boats and the sea (that) create a sense of deep home roots”.
The Journey Back To Ballagh, Inishowen
Ros began her artistic career as a potter, spending many years producing pottery in Dublin, where she became one of the leading potters of original ash-glazed stoneware in the country. Following a decision to move from Dublin to England Ros met Tim Stampton, who, “at the time was making large pieces of garden pottery”. After a number of years in England selling pottery they made the decision to move back to Ireland, stating that “With only 79 Punt in the bank and a little luck, they made their way along the Irish West coast” to find their new home. Ros recalls that the “Closer we got to Inishowen the more excited we felt”. Having been away for 30 years, Ros now “felt at home”.
Alongside the showroom, upon invitation, you get the chance to visit Tim’s print workshop, pictured above, which contains a treasure trove of traditional print machines, wood cuts and wonderful illustrations. A visit to Ballagh Studio will encourage you explore the landscape that continues to inspire both Ros and Tim.Visit Ballagh Studio