Painted stones

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  • Italy


    Blue stone: This is a typical landscape of my area, where there are almost no sandy beaches, but often white rocks. The tree is a maritime pine, which is common in the Mediterranean (it gives us the pine nuts). I also included the vibrant summertime colours and the ever present seagulls. - yellow stone- In this stone I tried to capture the magic of the wheat fields just before the harvest, where the gold of the grain is speckled with the red of poppies and the vibrant blue of the cornflower. - white stones - in these two stones you can see the drawings of two agricultural producs of my area a bunch of grapes and a twig of olive tree. There are some good wines made in Istria- Friuli region, both red and white. The grapes harvest occurs in September (normally). The olives are harvested in early November. Everyone I know at home has two bottles of olive oil: one from the shops for everyday cooking and a special one "homemade" for salads and specific dishes. Mi grandfather had both vineyards and olive orchards. So there are a lot of memories encapsulated in those images.
  • Tiffany, US

    Tiffany, US

    I was born and raised in the US and married an Irishman. Still here.. My background is in arts and I have three children. The first stone represents birch trees in Autumn. I lived in New England, in the northeast US as a young child, and the Autumn colours there are spectacular. The other stone depicts salt water taffy, which is a type of sweet sold in shops near the boardwalks at the Delaware beaches. It is chewy, and as you can see, colourful. The third stone depicts a horseshoe crab. Most people wouldn't recognize this, but the horseshoe crab really represents the Delaware beaches to me. These crabs are all over the beaches in the summertime. I think I have a love/hate relationship with them because I am scared of stepping on them when I am at the beach, but seeing pictures of them makes me feel nostalgic!
  • Marta, Poland

    Marta, Poland

    I came to NI because of practical reasons, the opportunity to earn extra money. I was a student and I had to work at the same time. I was exhausted with having to work, and full time study. It was a vicious circle. It was supposed to be a summer job in NI. But then I found life here easier and less stressful. I miss Poland and I still think of Poland as my homeland. My child’s reality being brought up in NI is very different from my reality when I was child in Poland. He will be bilingual from the very beginning. I do try to pass on Polish tradition and language to my child. We speak only Polish and English we have to. I painted something related to Christmas. Pierniki from Torun, they are very characteristic for Poland. They are Polish gingerbread. They are also associated with Christmas in Poland, we hang them on Christmas tree, they might be star shaped and heart shaped . Mine is heart shaped. The second one is stork. The third one has more to do with my hometown and there is a gate of the Old Town that is very very old. It will appear on many many postcards of my hometown for example.
  • Irene, Spain

    Irene, Spain

    Stone 1: This stones represents where I'm from. About an hour and a half South Madrid is a city called Talavera de la Reina. This place is popular for the ceramic and the designs in it. The ceramic typical from Talavera is blue and yellow and that's the reason for these colours included in the stone. Stone 2: I was trying to draw an olive tree branch... My parents come from a small village near Portugal called Castañar de Ibor. This village is well known in the region for producing the best olive oil! Im very proud of it. My parents have olive trees and we spend the weekends of December, January and February picking up olives. I wanted to represent with this stone the agricultural side of Spain. Bring back so many memories of spending time together with my family picking olives. Stone 3: This is a more personal stone. I wanted to represent in this stone what I'm missing from Spain and what really Spain means to me. The black symbol with the pink outline is the symbol of friendship. I wanted to include all my university friends which I'm still in contact with and that I visit when I can. The purple symbol represents my family and the flower represents my sister. The flower is a sunflower and I wanted to include her specifically as she is my great support in life. I also wrote the meaning of the symbol with one word in Spanish. Amistad = friendship, Hermana = sister and Familia = family.
  • Mexico, Spain

    Mexico, Spain

  • Maruška, Netherlands, Czech Republic

    Maruška, Netherlands, Czech Republic

    Bicycles Rides: In the Netherlands, my country of birth, riding a bicycle is most people’s second nature. Children are taught to ride at an early age, quickly moving on from a tricycle to the ‘real thing’. When I grew up in the 1960s, most of my friends at primary school used a bicycle for transportation and fun. This gave us independence, allowing exploratory trips to distant neighbourhoods in and beyond the village. My secondary school was situated in a nearby town and it took me 25 minutes each way to get there. To face wind and rain, those living at some distance from the school owned a ‘regenpak’, a pair of light plastic trousers and a thin coat to wear over our normal clothes when necessary. I remember having to stand on the pedals, bent over the steer, hardly able to see because of the rain. In my student years in Groningen and Amsterdam, a bicycle was essential. It was a cheap and multi-functional mode of transportation, taking me to places of study and leisure and carrying a variety of items, from books to shopping and friends. The vast network of bicycle roads that criss-cross the Netherlands enabled me and my friends to tour the countryside. The fact that most of the country is flat meant that a simple bike would do – no need for more than three gears. Unfortunately, the situation in Northern Ireland is very different. The lack of safe roads for bikes means that I mostly walk, take public transport or drive by car to reach anywhere. I do own a bicycle and sometimes ride along the coastal path from Bangor to Belfast, but miss its everyday use. The image on the stone representing my bike rides in the Netherlands. Reproducing a stereotypical notion of Holland, complete with a watermill, a dyke and a river, it does however refers to a tour I made in Holland a few summers ago, when I moved through many similar scenes. Proper Seasons: Although I was born in the Netherlands and am a Dutch citizen, I am half Czech and have visited Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic regularly since I was six years old. After 1989, I lived in Prague for numerous years and have returned frequently to conduct research and meet friends and family. Unlike people in the Netherlands and the UK, Czechs enjoy a land climate. The seasons are distinct: a long gentle spring is followed by a hot summer, a beautiful sunny autumn (babí léto) and an icy cold and snowy winter. This change of seasons is one of the things that I miss most in Northern Ireland. Although I love living close to the sea and enjoy seeing its colour change from my window – from grey to light blue, from purple to pitch black – I long for more variety. The four paintings on the stone reflect this urge for seasonal change.
  • Mihaela, Romania

    Mihaela, Romania

    I am originally from Romania and I moved to Belfast in 2016. My partner arrived in the country first and then I followed him a few months later. This September I started an undergraduate course at Queen's University which means I'll be spending at least four more years in Northern Ireland. The first stone I painted shows our traditional clothing. Nowadays, women and some men as well are wearing the blouse (term in Romanian is ie) during the summer. People, in particular traditional group dances, are seen wearing the complete constume at national holidays or events as it is very symbolic. The second stone I drew represents a four leaf clover. Although it reminds me of Irish tradition, in Romania it can be given as a spring token (in Romanian 'martisor') together with a red and white string which is very representative. I couldn't draw the red white string as I didn't have the colours, but it is believed that the person that is given to, on 1st of March, will enjoy a prosperous and healthy year. The last stone illustrates an Easter egg. Traditionally we colour eggs in red colour for Easter as it symbolises the blood of Jesus Christ. In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, the hard shell of the egg symbolizing the sealed Tomb of Christ. When the eggs are cracked is representative for His resurrection from the dead. In our modern society we tend to use other colours as well, but red remains symbolic.
  • South Africa

    South Africa

  • Poland


    As a project organiser, I thought it would be nice to share my memories of my homeland with other people. I drew mermaid, Syrenka, which is a symbol of Warsaw. There is a legend related to it. There are different status of mermaid across the city. The second stone shows Palace of Culture and Sciences which was given to Polish people as a gift from Russia during the communist period. There were many attempts to destroy it but it is a landmark of the city. The white eagle is a coat of arms in Poland. The “crowned eagle” had been the official symbol of Poland since the 13th Century – but it goes back even further. Legend has it that the founder of the Polish nation, Lech, found himself face-to-face with a treacherous white eagle while hunting. The aquiline image with a backdrop of the blood-red setting sun became the proud image of the country.