Aoibhinn & Company Dorothy and Tom Cross
This week, Aoibhinn interviews brother and sister artist Dorothy Cross and her older brother Professor Tom Cross.
They were both born in Cork and recall their childhood, particularly their Summer holidays at Fountainstown on Cork Harbour. Their parents met while yachting in West Cork and the family loved the sea, boats and swimming. They recall their seaside holidays and learning to swim.
Swimming was a very important sport to them both. Tom became a coach and coaches swimmers to this day. Dorothy was an accomplished swimmer but failed to qualify for the 1972 Munich Olympics by point one of a second. They reflect on this disappointment.
Dorothy doesn't regret the hours spent swimming as a young person. Tom experienced health difficulties in his thirties when he had a benign brain tumour removed. Dorothy believes that his background in training and his fitness from swimming stood to him in making his recovery.
Dorothy is an artist but doesn't paint. She explains to Aoibhinn how her art is made with found objects. They discuss a piece from her most recent exhibition Connemara called Shark Everest. She also explains why she uses family heirlooms in her work. Tom gives his reaction to Dorothy's work.
Dorothy explains how she staged the opera Stabat Mater in a slate quarry on Valentia Island, County Kerry. And they have another Valentia connection. Tom and Dorothy worked together on a project on jellyfish, funded by the Wellcome Trust, designed to encourage scientists and artists to collaborate and learn from each other. This work on jellyfish was inspired by an Edwardian naturalist called Maud de Lapp.