I was born in Belfast, my life experience has probably been my most valuable training in the arts. Belfast is a great small city that has often been my muse. I have also lived in many rural parts of Ireland and currently live in the beautiful surroundings of the Glens of Antrim. A place of friendly people with a great out doors full of ancient history and beauty and a tranquil setting.
As an artist in Ireland I am perhaps in the unique position of being someone who has direct experience of the Irish British political conflict. This historical discord has been and is an important influence on what I create.
Over the years I have used a variety of media to create a body of work that is influenced by culture, conflict and human rights issues. The difficulties in this part of the world are universal. Our situation is normal and shares many similarities with conflicts around the globe. I have been to many parts of the world that experience political and social difficulties, Western Sahara, Palestine, Israel, the Basque Region of Spain, USA, Australia, India and Catalonia. In terms of coming out of conflict through peace and negotiation via The Good Friday peace agreement and other agreements, it is possible that now we have an experience, a blueprint, from which other places can learn.
Besides 'art and peace' interest I have also produced a substantial body of work that is influenced by the fantastic stories of mythology, culture and stories. For example the beautiful poetry of Seamus Heaney has been a great influence. In fact Seamus Heaney became aware of my work and sent his support in the form of a personal letter. He had viewed images of my artwork that sought to capture the themes of his poetry, he wrote and quoted WB Yeats:
‘Those images that yet Fresh images beget’.
This exploration of culture and mythology has explored themes from An Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) and most recently the mystery of the Broighter Boat and Gold Hoard.
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