• Picturing the System / book
  • NI Hands / photo
  • H Block / postcards
  • The Beauty of Cleator Moor / photo, acrylic, glitter and collage

NI Hands / H Block

NI Hands and H Block were derived from a set of three postcards. They were designed in 1981 when I had a solo show at Projects Gallery Dublin. The exhibition which was about the troubles in Northern Ireland was shipped in from England but the customs refused to release the show because of its critical attitude towards the British Government. All they would allow in were a thousand postcards with three different images — these are two of them. I decided to arrange them as H’s throughout the gallery in protest at the British Govt internment policies in prisons in the north called the H blocks. The coloured hands expressed the notion that the struggle in the north was at the heart of Europe. The Black and white hands listed the results of the previous decade struggle deaths costs etc. etc.

The Beauty of Cleator Moor

The basic image of his work is of a Cleator Moor iron ore miner’s hand which contains the three altered lines from Norman Nicholson’s poem: “In Cleator Moor they dig for death” is changed to “In Cleator Moor they dig for Life”. “A bullet in a soldier’s ear” becomes “a bullet in a Fascist’s ear” and the line “Feels the iron in his soul” becomes “feels the courage in his soul.”

First published Wednesday, 19 March 2008 by White Haven News

All works shown courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Art New York