The Barna Way is an eco-social arts project organic farm and native woodland near Ballybunion Co Kerry coordintated by photographer Rena Blake and artist Lisa Fingleton. 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 listening to the land and creating an inclusive and welcoming space for all. As well as being an organic farm and wildlife sanctuary, the project also has a ‘Healing Herb Garden’ and ‘Peace Path’ through native woodland. From here they engage with the diverse community groups through social farming and live food and cultural events, while protecting habitats for wildlife. This seventeen year project is propelled by an accelerated sense of urgency around food insecurity, climate crisis, biodiversity loss and forced migration.
Rena is coordinating the ‘Ballybunion Community Market’ with Emily Devine at McMunns Garden, Ballybunion every Saturday morning in July and August. The Barna Way works with people with disability through the Kerry Social Farming Project.
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.