L. Vandegrift Davala: slideshow image 1
L. Vandegrift Davala: slideshow image 2


Film “…For Peace Comes Dropping Slow…”

We broke new ground technically with this film. “…For Peace…” is the first film in which light writing was captured in a moving film lens rather than solely by a still camera or “painted on” in post production. None of the gorgeous moving effects were added later, and almost all were captured via the RED Cine camera by Cian de Buitléar, DP, (Saving Private Ryan, The Boxer) and Declan King, camera operator, (Saving Private Ryan), after extensive experimentation. Great job everyone!

July, 2011 “…for peace comes dropping slow…”

Film Still, Parke’s Castle: Cian de Buitléar D.O.P.

Arrived in the US with an Official Selection for our US premiere of “…for peace…” on the 16th of July 2011, at the Stephen J. Buck Theatre,  for the New Hope International Film Festival. In the field of 89 international films in the festival, we were voted second place overall. The film received a really warm reception, and the Nomination for Best Short, we also topped the on-line “audience buzz” Festival Genius poll during the film festival! Have a look at the trailer here:

“…for peace…” was selected in competition at The Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival, Schull, Co. Cork 26-29th May 2011, where we were Honourable Mention Best Experimental Film!

The film was selected for screening in competition (and Nominated Best Irish Short) in the Oscar-affilated Foyle Film Festival 2010, where it screened in late November.

The film’s official Irish Premiere was at the Gaiety Cinema, Sligo, on October 22nd, 2010 public screening.

Laurels for For Peace Comes Dropping Slow

August, 2010

“…for peace comes dropping slow…” is completed! I want to thank everyone who participated in this production. Each person involved made an essential contribution. Our production team was a “dream team” including Cian de Buitléar (Saving Private Ryan, Blow Dry, The Boxer), our cinematographer; and Tony Kearns, (Radiohead), our film editor, with Darren Carr providing documentary and stills photography. Our film’s soundtrack was graced by the legendary vocals and fiddle of Seamie O’Dowd.  Production manager Tara Lewis and assistants Letty Hill and Arlo Liddy were indispensable. The main light writing was performed by Laura Brennan, (An Diabhal ag an Damhsa); Sinead Hawkins, (The Tudors, and The Wexford Light Opera Company), Noelle Keilty, Avril Lahiff, Tara Lewis, Aodan O’Connor, Kathryn Reynolds, Lorcan Strain, (One Last Petal, One Last Flame, with the Irish Chamber Orchestra); Arlo Liddy, all  young performing arts professionals who traveled from all over Ireland to take part. Local children and participants from Sligo took part in the film including Dualtagh, Bronagh and Aoibhin Holmes and Justin and Gabriel Knecht. The final scene was filmed with over 70 participants, many of whom were from the Yeatsian Legacy and Omagh’s Peace III programmes, as well as Sligo Peace and Reconciliation. Thank you to all who participated!

Photo Credit: Darren Carr

March 2010, Land Of Heart’s Desire

Thank you to the Sligo County Council Arts Office for the initial Development Bursary that I received for “…for peace comes dropping slow…” during 2009, and for the funding from the European Union Regional Developement Fund, Peace lll, Environment,Heritage, and Local Government Percent for Art, and Sligo Arts Service, in 2010. Really appreciated!

I have always loved the the crest used by Sligo. The wording refers to William Butler Yeats’ first performed play by the same name in which one of his young characters says:

“… and their Land of Heart’s Desire,
Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood,
But joy is wisdom, Time an endless song”


This work was on show as part of the New Wave Exhibition and the Canon of the 21st Century Artist’s Book Research project, at UWE, Bristol, UK.

Much of my work over the last 2 decades has been conscious of the quantum scientific correlation between written and spoken words, thoughts, music and images and their ability to “imprint” each of us at a molecular level. The resonance of great music played for centuries on a magnificent instrument (a Stradivarius, for example) can be revealed in the very molecular structure of that instrument. If we literally imprint each other with our intentions, words, images and actions, then we have an unimaginable power to effect positive change in the well-being of all around us.

This text from Plato’s Socratic Dialogues clearly shows that this understanding is not new:
“He said the soul was treated with certain charms, my dear Charmides, and that these charms were beautiful words”.

Incantation and Intonation: iHeal Meditation Station, 2007

Incantation and Intonation: iHeal Meditation Station 2007

Video iPod® custom engraved with blessings, seven monotypes in oil digitally transferred to the device, and accompanied by spoken blessings and a passage from Charmides in the Socratic Dialogues.
Voices: Dr. Dennis Glew (Greek), Sonya Zahm (Spanish), Clothilde Peters (German), Dr. David Tormey (Irish), Justin Knecht (English)

Artists’ Books

Just published:

A Manifesto for the Book, Sarah Bodman and Tom Sowden, with an edited selection of interviews, essays, abtree diagrams and case studies from the project What will be the canon for the artist’s book in the 21st Century?
Published by Impact Press at The Centre for Fine Print Research,University of the West of England, Bristol, February 2010

ISBN 978-1-906501-04-4
Free download here

Included in this book is the following interview with me, conducted by curator Tom Sowden as part of the Canon for the 21st Century Artist’s Illustrated Books AHRC Research project and the “New Wave” Exhibition at UWE, September 2009. It was published in the Artist’s Book Yearbook 2010 – 2011, September 2009, Impact Press, UWE Bristol, and online in February 2010, as a case study in the final Canon of the 21st Century Publication. The interview is the most complete overview of my work in Artists’ Books.

Above and below: Spirit and Sense of an April Fool L. Vandegrift Davala, 1984. Fourteen oil monotypes, gold leaf, letterpress on Arches, paper binding, slipcase. 23 1/2 X 19 1/2 X 1 3/4 “ (Collection: National Library of Ireland)

Above and below: Spirit and Sense of an April Fool L. Vandegrift Davala, 1984. Fourteen oil monotypes, gold leaf, letterpress on Arches, paper binding, slipcase. 23 1/2 X 19 1/2 X 1 3/4 “ (Collection: National Library of Ireland)

Spirit and Sense of an April Fool 1984Spirit and Sense of an April Fool 1984

L. Vandegrift Davala – is an artist based in County Sligo, Ireland, who works across a number of disciplines. Her recent work has utilised interactive digital technologies in the production of book works.



Last year 800 to 1000 people collaborated with the SLIGLOW team of artists for Sligo’s Culture Night , making SLIGLOW the Sunday Independant’s pick for Culture Night 2009! It was wonderful to hear from so many of you that you enjoyed that evening – so this year (2010) we’ve got a brand new challenge:  a team of artists and light writers will collaborate with people of all ages to “light write” (also called “light graffiti” or “light painting”). Using lights, glowsticks and movement we will all make pure light trails while cameras film them and then project each light work onto the city. Each creation will be unique – and a wonderful chance to light up Culture Night 2010.

SLIGLOW2 2010 Poster

We’d like to say a special thanks to our generous sponsors: The Glasshouse, for this spectacular venue, Acorn Blue for their contribution to poster printing, DJGNET!C for the evening’s music, and to the Sligo Arts Service for our operating grant. See you there!


A site-specific, collaborative event will happen at the Glasshouse Hotel overlooking the Garavogue River. The event will take place on the View Bar level, and on the outside of the Glasshouse, facing the river at ground level; presented by artists Tinka Bechert, Lisa Vandegrift Davala and Vanya Lambrecht Ward, but created by YOU.

Inspired by the glass clad architecture, and its spectacular views over the city, this will be held as part of Culture Night Sligo, open to the public; encouraging families and children to participate in the creation of a site-specific work of art, in collaboration with a team of professional artists from the Sligo area.

The event will consist of drawing on glass; making slides to use in projections onto the glass; and using glow sticks (that can be bent and connected to each other) forming light sculptures; creating installations and imagery on the inside and outside of the massive windows that overlook the city. As the evening progresses, the inscribed, projected, and glowing works will be seen from around the city and reflected onto participants as well as the surrounding cityscape.

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This celebration of creativity in Sligo will also feature live music by Mood Indigo featuring Yvonne Cunningham on vocals and special guests.

Music and ART making kicks off at 7 pm. At 10 pm the venue’s lights go out for a final view of the light sculpture. It’s time to SLIGLOW !!!

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo, for their provision of the beautiful venue, and to Caitriona Cavanagh at the Glasshouse, who helped in so many ways to make this happen. Also sponsoring this event are Mood Indigo featuring Yvonne Cunningham, providing the fantastic live music during the evening and Acorn Blue Printing, providing the printing of our event posters. Thanks also to Easons in Sligo and McTiernans Mace in Ballygawley for materials donations. The presenters want give a special thanks to Justin Knecht for his digital magic and to the volunteer artists and facilitators who are supporting this event.

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Paint, Light, Lens

Paint, Light, Lens

After making OM & Etc., I kept fooling around with all the components of the pictures along with a pile of other tests of brush painting on archival film, with gold leaf, paint and paper. I walked around this pile for months, kept coming back to it, picking up bits. I could see the “pile” as an object to be exhibited inside a clear perspex box.

I love the idea of a brush-painted calligraphic mark as a beautiful “thing” in itself. This has been a life-long love, (also expressed during the years I painted Irish shop front signs). The more I played with the bits of paint, the more “parts” each bit played, like characters in multiple scenes over a period of time.  It’s a challenge for me to categorise this work as it’s composed in the camera lens, of paint, space, light and time (objects were falling randomly toward the lens – I kept moving to find them). The particular time of day, reflections on the clear film, the space around each mark, and the forms created by the brush marks, through light, over paper – all combined in the lens, becoming part of the work.

Looking at Velazquez

Mariana of Austria

There are artists that command life-long love and respect, Velazquez has mine. Economy of stroke evolved to a dazzling depth of expression in his hands. Each mark encompassed form, function, expression, narrative, psychology, time, and place. No replication, no waste, no sentimentality. Everything we know now about fractals and holograms can be seen in the most minute passage of his painting. (Have a look at the lace collar in his portrait of Jaun de Pareja at the Met, NY).

In 2003 I had the first opportunity to visit the Velazquez pictures in Madrid’s Prado Museum, and made these drawings.

The oil study of Philip IV was one of a few I have attempted over the years. Velazquez made dozens.

“…for peace comes dropping slow…”Screenings


11 September 2010 // 12pm // Strule Arts Centre Cinema, Omagh, Northern  Ireland // Sneak Preview

24 September 2010 // 7 – 10pm // The Glasshouse, Ground floor, Culture Night Sligo, Ireland // Sneak Preview

22 October 2010 // 5:30pm // Gaiety Cinema Sligo Live Festival, Sligo, Ireland // Irish Premiere

06 November 2010 // 12 noon // Gaiety Cinema Sligo

26 November 2010 // 9:00pm // 23rd International Foyle Film Festival, Derry, Northern Ireland // Nominated Best Irish Short // Festival Programme, // U.K. Premiere

7 May 2011 // 3pm// Saturday: ‘Irish Film Institute Shorts@The Model’ // The Model, Home of the Niland Collection // The Mall, Sligo // free public screening

26-29 May 2011 // The Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival // Honourable Mention, Best Experimental Film // Schull, Co. Cork

16 July 2011 // 11am // “Official Selection” and Nominated Best Short,  New Hope Film Festival, New Hope, PA, USA // Stephen J. Buck Memorial Theatre // U.S. Premiere

12 August 2011 // 9:30 pm // 13 August 20011 // 2-5 pm // Benefit screenings for “Reflections on Freedom”, Preda Foundation, Open Heart House, Dublin, Ireland // Invited audience, Philippine Ambassador Ariel Abadilla and Philippine Consul General Hyayceelyn Quintana

1 May 2012 // 8pm // Signal Film Fest Shortlist Showcase and Awards // Mermaid County Wicklow Arts Centre // Main Street, Bray, Co Wicklow, Ireland

13 June 2012 // 3PM // Yeats Birthday Celebrations // Black Box Theatre, The Model // Sligo, Ireland

30 August 2012 // International Film Festival For Peace, Inspiration an Equality // Honourable Mention Best International Short Film // Blitzmegaplex Cinema // Grand Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia // Asian Premiere

14 July 2013 // Galway Film Fleadh // Nomination for Best 1 minute film, (for trailer), 30 Minute Film Fest // Galway, Ireland

Press for the film “…for peace comes dropping slow…”

Parkes Castle, Lake Isle of Innisfree
Lightwriters inscribe the landscape with W.B Yeats’ poetry

Press Releases

Foyle Press Release (Word Doc)


Log Line (Word Doc)
Short Synopsis (Word Doc)

Trailer https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1713944/?ref_=rvi_tt

Photos for Download

Download Carrane Hill Light Writers image (JPG, 1692 x 954, 1.2MB).

Download Lightwriters at Parke’s Castle (JPG, 1692 x 949, 1.3MB).

Download Letter R at Culleenamore Strand (JPG, 1697 x 947, 1.5MB).

Download Peace at Carrane Hill (JPG, 2174 x 1222, 1.5MB).

Download ‘For’ at Carrane Hill (JPG, 3030 x 2020, 3.2MB).

Download Director at Parke’s Castle (JPG, 4288 x 2848, 3.1MB)

Download Movie Poster (PNG, 2384 x 1683, 3.7MB)