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PS1 Exhibition

The following is the extract that accompanied my entry in the 1988 PS1 Museum in the Clocktower Gallery at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

“My work to date has primarily been stimulated by the environment surrounding me. Up until nine months ago that environment was Ireland.

The work produced in Ireland functioned like public memorials, where issues rather than individuals were displayed. Much of the work explored ideas of dominance, hierarchy and division.

Before coming to New York I tried to present a dramatic image of conflict and struggle which, whilst originating in Ireland, transcended the immediate or local.

In my most recent images I am still dealing with the same issues only the locations are in America. I have come to the conclusion that injustice is a world-wide phenomenon.

The imagery in my work is often appropriated from art history, then reworked and invested with the local and personal. I do not draw as a preparation for the work, but instead I might have photostats or reproductions of old masters around me when I start. These act as triggers or provide a visual structure around which I build my images.

In dealing with my subject mattter I am anxious to maintain the edge between comedy and despair. I therefore parody ironic humour as well as expressions of violence, cruelty and oppression.”