The Barna Way is a creative and community based, sustainability and biodiversity project, by photographer Rena Blake and artist Lisa Fingleton. The Project is based in Barna, an organic, social farm and wildlife sanctuary, one mile from Ballybunion surf beach in the South of Ireland. The house and lands are steeped in history, song and tradition. Both Rena’s mother and grandmother were born here. In 2020 over 10,000 native Irish Trees were planted at Barna with support from Greenbelt, Supervalu and the Native Irish Woodland Scheme.
The Barna Way is about a holistic way of being, living in harmony and connection with all other life on earth. It is about creating an inclusive and welcoming space for humans and other species, in all our diversity. As well as being an organic farm and wildlife sanctuary, the project also has a ‘Healing Herb Garden’ and ‘Peace Path’ through native woodland.
The North Kerry GIY (Grow It Yourself) Group is based in Barna and has over 30 active members who visit each other’s farms/gardens monthly during the growing season. Rena is collaborating with Billy Jo O’Connor from Leagh Farm to host the ‘Ballybunion Community Market’ at Kilcooly’s Country House every Saturday morning in July and August. The Barna Way works with people with disability through the Kerry Social Farming Project and hosted a hugely successful open day with 150 people last year.
Lisa and Rena host a number of creative experiences and workshops in conjunction with the MOYA festival including ‘Art in Nature’ ‘Songs for the Spirit’ and ‘Living Lens’. In their respective studios, they create work that reflects their passion for food and their commitment to biodiversity and climate action. Lisa recently published her highly acclaimed new book ‘The Local Food Project’, about the power of eating local food to increase health and well being; to reduce plastic and carbon; and to support local food producers.
Finally The Barna Way welcomes artists/writers in residence, volunteers and interns from all other the world who are passionate about creating a sustainable and inclusive world. Lisa and Rena have travelled extensively and have lived in many countries. They value intercultural exchange and the sharing of knowledge through ‘thinking global and acting local’. They strive to ‘BE the change they wish to see in the world’ though their work in ‘The Barna Way’ and welcome others to join them in their journey.