Drawing as a method of analyzing multiple strata of knowledge and felt experience, articulates a deeply emotive, sensual and gestural response to the interstices between personal, cultural, national and diasporic identities. Methodologies of rupture and repetition reveal layers of meaning and amplify personal experiences of Irishness.
My work expands the field of drawing by pushing the boundaries of surface through employing masking tape, a commonly discarded material as surface. Masking tape’s common function of packing, wrapping and fixing inverts into unpacking, uncovering and unmasking of Irishness that is embedded in centuries of mass migration. Charcoal drawings are appropriated from my Masters exhibition titled Beyond the Pale: Australia to find form as a sculptural work of art. The dense layering of masking tape, charcoal and imagery acts as a mnemonic repository for Irishness in Irish/Australian historical contexts while making the postcards impractical.
The project, The Gathering: Greetings from the Irish in Australia, examines the evolving and dissolving re-branding of Irish identity in an Irish/Australian context from the perspective of migrants. In developing this area of research, the projects objective is to examine and develop existing visual and theoretical scholarship on Irish identity. The project invites visual and literal contributions from guest artists and academics from across disciplines to participate in a discussion on a proposed premise: What does it mean to be part of the Irish diaspora in Australia, particularly in an period of enormous cultural, political and social transformation in Ireland? The intention of the project is not to fetishize Irishness but to engage with the national cultural, economic and social project in Ireland known as The Gathering 2013 that ‘celebrates all things Irish’ and invites the 70 million Irish people who claim Irish ancestry to come ‘home’. The outcomes of this project will result in a self-published book, which will be exhibited in Ireland for The Gathering 2013.
'Our Lady of Grotto'
masking tape, pigment, linseed oil
20 x 20 cm
'Greetings from the Irish in Australia'
three drawings, dimensions variable