Paper Walls was made during two residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan. 1997-98
It was shown in The Context Gallery, Derry in 1998 and was invited to be part of a three person exhibition in the Ashford Gallery, Dublin, in June of 2001.
Paper Walls is a large installation on paper. Mixed media 14 inch square pieces were placed neatly side by side like bricks in a wall. The inspiration for it came originally from Derry's ancient city walls and led me to consider 'wall' in a universal sense. The unboundaried state is generally considered to be the ideal one. However the wall or boundary is also a meeting point. It suggests solidarity as well as division, togetherness as well as one thing chosen to the exclusion of the other wether this is physical, cultural, geographical or in our mental attitudes. It is in using extreme contrasts in this work that I wished to explore the middle ground between them and reveal the harmony in diversity.
Paper Walls is intended to incorporate the concept of opposite forces on many levels; for example urban, rural, manmade and natural, protective and restrictive, creative and destructive, physical and spiritual, spontaneity and control, sturdy and fragile, divided but united, fragmented and whole. These aspects were reflected in my choice and use of materials and format chosen. I combine water based paints and oils, tissue paper, bandage, wax, plaster and varnish. This piece uses actual elements of the landscape for example, soil, oak leaves, which have significant associations to geography and our identity but also lend themselves in building many layers.
The result is dark and light walls , each intended to play off each others' extremeness. They almost conceal underlying bright colours, marks and textures and although close inspection reveals a much more violated surface than it first appears, I aimed to create a quite contemplative space for the viewer