from "Ireland & Europe: International Visual
September 4th - October 16th 1997
Fourteen different graffiti images, each approximately 28cm x 28cm, stencilled
on windows, walls, and paving around Parnell Sq., Dublin.
On a simple level, the link between language and
culture is obvious. Here in Ireland, the link is officially recognised
within the governmental department title, Dept. of Arts, Heritage, the
Gaeltacht & the Islands. Even so, there is an incongruity/irony in the
fact that the Gaeltacht comprises only a small portion of the country,
whilst English is the common language for the majority of the country.
Elsewhere in Europe, similar incongruities also exist and are often at
the heart of cultural tension and/or civil strife within a country.
Although my work has focused specifically on the European Union member
states, this link between language and culture is global. While Czechoslovakia
had a peaceful separation into two distinct states, the evening news proves
that this is a rarity. I was raised in Canada where there are clear tensions
between French and English with regard to language and culture -- too
often an issue of power. However, as Anglophones and Francophones "officially"
share a position of equality, I feel it is the language and culture of
the Inuit and other First Peoples which remain truly marginalised.
I am aware of the history of graffiti as a subversive activity and believe
there is an irony/paradox of doing graffiti with "permission" and as part
of an "official" presentation. The recognition of this irony/paradox is
fundamental to the nature of my project.
A catalogue of the exhibition was published by the Sculptors Society of
Ireland in January 1998.
Click on the small images right to view larger images from this body
Click on the thumbnail images to the below to see larger images.