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The Road to Marovany – the art and craft of Paddy Bush

A wonderful exhibition in a lovely location. Upon arriving we were greeted by the sight of large colourful cloths billowing on bamboo sticks. Each one had a saying from Madagascar labelled to it, many were very witty. A gravel path lead us to the gallery building which was already filling up with people of all ages. Inside, Paddy looked like he was in a state of bliss as he chatted to people explaining aspects of the displays. Tea, coffee, wine and cakes were being handed out.

The exhibit seamlessly takes you on a journey through Paddy’s passions starting with his photography of his Cavan lakeside home, then photos of him performing in Madagascar, several with Justin Vali, and a photo of him on the set of the Big Sky with his digeridoo. The most lovingly decorated wall features a shot of Kate and Paddy from the Eat the Music video with the mandolin Paddy was playing and many other instruments framing the display. It was breathtaking. Another room featured some of Paddy’s own photography of Madagascar – gorgeous stuff, he’s an excellent photographer, which I never knew. Leading out into the sculpture garden is a room displaying all of his glass work, beads etc and the walls of the room are covered with swirling, hypnotic photos of glass in extreme close-up. I loved that the beads were all displayed in their cabinet on peat briquettes! Outside in the sculpture garden there were about 20 more coloured Madagascan cloths and as many wise quotes to go with them.

So glad I went. Paddy is such a warm, humble, genuine person – this was all uniquely him and I am delighted he’s decided to do this, I hope many people venture down the tiny winding roads to get to this remarkable, remote gallery.

Some photos…

From the exhibition publicity material
From the exhibition publicity material


  1. deborah

    Aza Malahelo Fa Zao Afaranao….made me cry!!!!
    What a wonderful wonderful exhibition. My daughter, Kate, would LOVE to see this and so would I. It looks so incredibly beautiful and magical, thankyou for allowing us to see these photographs Sean, to share this.
    I need to see Ireland again.
    Good luck Paddy, Im sure it will have fantastic reviews
    love and hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Gabriella

    very nice , Art collecton of beads and pictures ,..and interments … i also love the colorful flags ,.. they are all so magic and beauitfuil …… i wish i was there to,.. i love art ….Paddy does have amazing view in his pictures ..and glass beads .. i love o have a bracelt of his work…

    very nice .. thank you so much for sharing Sean and Paddy..
    love hugs

  3. ky

    So fantastic to see the instruments that have helped give Kate’s music a beauty that’s inimitable. Such wonderful pieces of art and history.And what wonderful creations in glass — simply beautiful. An amazing chap from an amazing family!X

  4. Great write up and the photos are brilliant! Thanks for this, Sean!

  5. What an amazing adventure it must be to see it all with your own eyes! Beautiful views, amazing gallery. Pleasure to watch.

  6. I like the castle in the lough. I have never seen it before and I live in Ireland.

    Might call and see the exhibition though its a good distance from where I live

    • I traveled up from Dublin, Paul – was worth it to see instruments that played on Kate’s records, and all the other great stuff on show, great lakes to explore up there too 🙂

  7. Mike

    WOW! Looks incredible – I wish Paddy would bring his gallery to Australia! 🙂

  8. This is marvelous, I was hoping you’d follow up your first post on this exhibition, but your photos are a real bonus. Lovely.

  9. Laura

    Thanks for those great pics ! It’s a pleasure to see how you managed Malagasy patterns, the instruments are very beautiful. I would like to visit Ireland and this exhibition, congratulations Paddy !!!
    I’ve never heard your translation of the proverb “antitra vao be ny tanora” which meant for me “now that you are old, you find many young people around”. Maybe I’m wrong…
    Thank you again for sharing !

  10. Karin (Belgium)

    Wish I lived closer

  11. Antonello

    Thank you for a truly magnificent tale in pictures and moods, Sean. Paddy’s exhibition looks just incredibly beautiful. I have especially enjoyed the instruments on display, which show Paddy’s deep knowledge and craft. The Skies of Ireland do the rest…

  12. nico

    lovely indeed! wonderful exhibition and beautiful photos as well 🙂

  13. Magnificent exhibition – Paddy is a walking encyclopaedia on all ‘Things Malagasy’: he knows the country better than any other ‘westerner’ I’ve ever met. Of special interest in the wonderful display of photos and artefacts are the colourful beads or ‘vakana’ which are, as Paddy says, a ‘language’ in beads. They come in all colours, patterns, shapes and sizes and you wear them on a necklace….the combination of beads you would be given when you go and see an ‘Ombiasy’ or wise person, depends on the diagnosis, or what it is in your life that you need rectified at a particular point in time.

  14. John Stevenson

    Is the exhibition at Paddy’s House only open on special times/occasions?
    How do you get to see it?

    Where in Cavan is it?

    When the Covid lockdiwn is over it would be great to make ajourney from Co Down to County Cavan.

    • Hi John,

      This exhibition was on for a limited time only and took place almost 10 years ago in 2011. The gallery, sadly, no longer exists there. I am glad I was able to capture some of it for the site.


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