Monday, 25 February 2013

About Upside-down Mountains

The Upside-down Mountains, is an artwork in the main entrance hall of the Northside Civic Center in Coolock, in Dublin, it was installed in 2003. It consists of a fantasy landscape in blue neon, with another landscape painted on the wall opposite. The landscapes are both based on drawings of Irish scenery by the artist and antiquarian George Petrie(1790 - 1866). Petrie trained in Dublin as a water colour painter and is best remembered as ‘the father of Irish archaeology’. Engravings of his work were also used to illustrate guidebooks to Ireland published in the 1820’s when tourism first became a feature of Irish life and the Irish economy.

In this work there is a play with the illusion of drawing and the landscape. By turning some of the drawings upside down they become reflections that suggest valleys. The blue light of the neon work opposite animates the wall painting. The intention of this work is to explore the area between abstraction and representation, as aspects of art symbolic of Irish society, both forward looking and conservative.

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