Docs Ireland 2023: Notes from Sheepland + Q&A
Docs Ireland 2023 presents Notes from Sheepland (2023), an unconventional portait which follows an artist who returns home to Ireland to make a living off sheep farming and practice her art. Followed by a Q&A with director Cara Holmes.
Orla Barry lived as an artist in Brussels for years until she was forced to return to her roots and come back to Ireland.
Needing to make a living she turned to sheep farming, with the hopes of continuing her art on the side. Instead, she discovered the beauty of sheep and developed an ovine obsession. The film covers a year spent on Barry’s farm and examines how unexpectedly the lines between shepherd and artist can be blurred.
Notes from Sheepland is an engaging and unconventional portrait of an unconventional artist. Director Cara Holmes conjures beautiful images from the flock. The serenity of the visuals is complemented by the dynamic score, ranging from a horn player who haunts the fields to the Wexford Male Voice Choir who appear in the stables. The film is a true celebration of the rituals and values of farming life.
“Notes from Sheepland has a streak of light, playful wit. There is also something of a lament about the film. What happens in this shepherd’s little corner of Ireland becomes a reflection of global events and challenges for everyone.” Screen Daily