How much time do you spend on the various social media? I have to admit that they’re taking more and more of my time, these days. But anyway, the painting above was one of a series of “52 Heads” that I worked on during the early stages of the war in Iraq. These were a sort of Requiem or memorial to those who had been killed in the invasion and subsequent conflict. It was all I could do at the time, and God knows, that conflict is still continuing to this day.
Before that series, after leaving college, I had been making abstract paintings with the emphasis on the emotional impact of colour. But I (reluctantly) began to make more figurative work because I found that I couldn’t express what I wanted to say in abstract.
Recently I’ve been working on a series of apple paintings (don’t ask, that’s another long story) but again the news of “man’s inhumanity to man” is affecting my ability to work. But I was thinking of Claude Monet just now, I heard somewhere that he continued to work on his wonderful water lily paintings while the first World War raged outside. I can see both sides. His contribution to the world was his art – and nothing was allowed to interrupt that work – but then again – how can a man seem to ignore the injustice in the world? What do you think? I don’t know the answer.
Anyway, that painting above. Social media today shows us the horrors of the massacre, almost immediately, but a painting is a more long term thing. It takes time to produce, and time to appreciate. But I’ve put it up there today as an appeal to all you good people in Dublin to come to the Spire at 2pm on Saturday to protest and to show you care.
Here’s a link to more of those “Heads” http://emacl.com/index_files/page0032.htm