The River Gods Of Ireland

The “River Gods” concept can be attributed to the pagan belief that God or rather the ‘divine spirit’ is all around us in nature. Worshipping or giving thanks in today’s language translates as respect for the environment including an understanding and appreciation of its cyclical rhythms (seasons). The Celts and their predecessors eulogized nature with both language and art (symbols and patterns) as do poets and artists of today. Examples of this can be found throughout Ireland which include the megalithic tombs at Newgrange and Knowth.

In the 1800’s the Irish sculptor Edward Smyth born in Co.Meath was commissioned to do the “River Gods” of Ireland by James Gandon a reputable English architect. A total of 12 heads were executed all of which adorn the keystones of the arches in the customs house in Dublin. Each head depicted the land and resources that an individual river flowed through.

The Celtic Clays “River Gods” range is thus inspired both by Edward Smyth and also the pagan belief in respect for the environment. Like Edward Smyth the heads are figurative but instead of a Greek/Roman style they are Celtic. As a representation of the four corners of Ireland I have chosen four rivers to illustrate, the “Lagan”, “Liffey”, “Lee” and “Shannon” .



The Liffey
(An Life)

Originating in the Wicklow hills the Liffey travels for eighty miles passing through the Curragh of Kildare and the city of Dublin where it joins the Irish sea at Dublin bay. Outside Denmark, Sweden and Norway Dublin port were the biggest Viking trading port in its day. A testament to this is the recently formed ‘Dublinia’ museum which houses many Viking artefacts including a longboat.

Available as a Print

Measurements; paper size 42cm(16 1/2”) x 30cm (11 1/2”);

image size 23cm (9”) x 30cm (16 1/2”) 
Images are printed on 310 gsm textured German etching paper and embossed with artist’s seal’ !!!

€60 Unframed Print
€100 Framed Print

Liffey River God

The Lagan
(Abhainn an Lagain)

Originating north of Ballynahinch in Co. Down the Lagan flows for forty miles passing through Lisburn town and ending in Belfast Lough where it meets the North channel. The channel otherwise known as the sea of Moyle according to Irish legend was home to the children of Lir swans for 300 years. On a lighter note by the end of the 19th century, Belfast was not only a formidable industrial city but also considered the linen capital of the world.

Available as a Print

Measurements; paper size 42cm(16 1/2”) x 30cm (11 1/2”);

image size 23cm (9”) x 30cm (16 1/2”) 
Images are printed on 310 gsm textured German etching paper and embossed with artist’s seal’ !!!

€60 Unframed Print
€100 Framed Print


The Lee
(Abhainn na Laoi)

The Lee begins its journey in West Cork at the lake “Gougane Barra”(named after Saint Finbarr the patron and founder of Cork city). Fast-flowing tributaries from the lake run down the Sheehy mountain range to become one river that continues its course for 50 miles to enter Cork city. Here it splits into two and surrounds the city of Cork itself before ending up in Cork harbour ending in the Celtic sea.

 Available as a Print

Measurements; paper size 42cm(16 1/2”) x 30cm (11 1/2”); image size 23cm (9”) x 30cm (16 1/2”) 
Images are printed on 310 gsm textured German etching paper and embossed with artist’s seal’ !!!

€60 Unframed Print
€100 Framed Print


The Shannon
(An Sinann)

The Shannon, Ireland’s longest river, begins its journey in the ‘Shannon pot’; a small pool surrounded by hazel and willow trees in the Cuilcagh Mountains in Co. Cavan. 235 miles later after traversing the counties Tipperary, Clare, Galway, Offaly, Roscommon and Longford it flows through Limerick city out into the Atlantic ocean. The most renowned lake of the river Shannon is Lough Derg where lies an ancient monastery home to thousands of annual pilgrims seeking comfort and solace through prayer.

Available as a Print

 Measurements; paper size 42cm(16 1/2”) x 30cm (11 1/2”);

image size 23cm (9”) x 30cm (16 1/2”) 
Images are printed on 310 gsm textured German etching paper and embossed with artist’s seal’ !!!

€60 Unframed Print
€100 Framed Print


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