Looking at the pursuit of abundance in dairy farming, the story-threads we’re tracing in Cowgirl Parlour go way back…. The image with raised arms/horns ending in stars that you see on the Cowgirl Parlour website is from a clay palette over 5,000 years old, showing a celestial Cow Mother. Last week, we were visiting locations for our first five dates in July and two of the sites have their own links to old stories about milk and abundance. Both Skenfrith in Monmouthshire and Bridstow in Herefordshire are linked to Sant Ffraid /Saint Brigit, who had special care of cattle and the dairy – and earlier still to the great goddess Brigid, Braint, honoured as the source of abundance and fertility. As we explore the practical application of genetic modern dairy genetics and other procedures to maximise milk yield we are in some ways discovering an ancient song in a new guise.
n.b. Cowgirl Parlour installation will be open every day of Ledbury Poetry Festival 3-12th July – we plan to be out and about at sites in Garway, Skenfrith, Bridstow and Canon Frome for the first five days of the Festival, and in Ledbury town centre from 8th-12th. Full details will be published online and in the printed Festival programme in the Spring.