During a residency in Ireland, I met a man in Sligo who was an expert on Irish mythology. As I have an interest in folkloric beings and monsters, I asked him to tell me about some beast from Ireland that he didn’t think I had heard of before. He chose Dobar Cú, the dark wet dog.
Hundreds of years ago a woman from Sligo had not returned home after doing laundry by the river. Her husband became worried and went to see what had happened. He found the woman dead with what he later described as a giant otter lying on her chest. The woman was buried on the outskirts of the city and on her tombstone you can still see a depiction of the monster.
This is the story of Dobar Cú, the man continued. But there is another and more important aspect of the beast. He lives inside you, the man said, pointing at me. At some point in life you will wander through your own underworld, and there you will meet him, at the gates of your private darkness. You have to get past him and the only way is to accept his existence, to befriend him.
During this time, a lot of misery happened in my private life. Despair, illness and death ravaged my immediate family. I realized after the visit to Sligo that I was actually right now walking through my own private underworld.
The film Dobar Cú describes this underground journey. It is filmed through simple photographic cardboard backdrops, in a single slow forward motion, in my studio.Rent this work for public screenings