“Live life with no excuses. Travel with no regret.” — Oscar Wilde
The art of travel is traveling with art! Are we there yet? While traveling, experiencing the world through the eyes of artists has always provided me with a safe method to understand the context and experience events that instantly connect me closer to the local culture. Inspired by the hiatus provided by the virus spread, with gratitude to science, the traveling industry is bouncing back. This past summer was the perfect setting to bid the international art world hello, again! As I satisfied my cravings for exploration of the global art world in person, my adventures included Ireland, Scotland and London. I ventured through some less-traveled and some heavily traveled roads, and the arts were always my guiding star.
In Ireland, among my local discoveries were the hand weavers from the River Avoca. The little town of Avoca, located in the province of Wicklow, famous for its coal industry, still has remnants of old mines, engine houses and a mineral tramway arch. It is also the home to the oldest weaving mill in Ireland.
Founded in 1723, the Avoca Mills sits by the banks of the River Avoca. Local farmers could grind their corn, spin and weave wool for clothing for the local miners. The rustic old mill and original whitewashed building overlooks a magnificent river, celebrated by Irish writer and poet Thomas Moore, welcomes visitors. We can sense and relive the atmosphere of the heart of the weaving industry led by local craftspeople who have been working there for many years. The building tells the story of the mill’s beginnings through its original memorabilia, including antique equipment, yarns, clothes, cones, design patterns and pictures of family members and artisans: workers whose weaving trade has been passed down through generations.