Starting to see a Bigger Picture
This exhibition consists of 14 bronze heads each intended as vessels to convey some darkly humorous ideas.
The exhibition deals with that Philip describes as ‘post De Valera Ireland, an Ireland that is gradually coming out of the closet’.
The pieces are somewhat larger than life-size, they are quite literal and beautifully executed.
Further information on some of the above pieces as follows.
Image 1 – Red Bull
‘Red Bull’ is a male head with two horns protruding from the temples. The eyes consist of two sacred heart visages and through the nose hangs a restraining bull ring.
This piece is a symbolic metaphor for the dark side of human nature. The bull has satanic and ritual sacrificial connotations and is renowned as a dangerous animal due to its tempremental and unpredictable nature, much like the evil inherent in human nature. The ring signifies the control that humans have achieved in restraining that aspect of their nature in the course of evolution.
Image 2 – I Don’t Know What I Am
The piece is a male head with a vagina at the back of the head and in the vagina stands a bull and a cow. A 35mm camera lens covers one eye and the other is closed shut.
‘I Don’t Know What I Am’ is a reference to the male obsession with sex and sexuality, particularly the murky world of voyeurism.
Image 3 – Unholy Alliance
This piece is a male head crowned with statues of the Sacred Heart. The heads of the Sacred Hearts are all missing and the crown lies slightly tilted.
The beheaded statues and the tilted crown of ‘Unholy Alliance’ allude to the view that Irish spirituality is a thin veneer of christianity stretched over the top of a deep well of paganism.