Cans of beer

Gemma Gallagher

Visual Arts

Gemma Gallagher’s work is an exploration of romanticism in relation to violence and war, derived from her experience growing up in a divided society and the socio-political situation in Northern Ireland. Considering the complexities of what drives people to war, she examines alternative perspectives of political conflict. Those issues being the subjective and objective; the romantic and the reality.

www.gemmagallagher.com

A Terrible Beauty is Born

This work is an exploration of the romanticism of political conflict and war, derived from my experience growing up in a divided society and the socio-political situation in Northern Ireland. Considering the complexities of what drives people to war, I examine alternative perspectives of political conflict. Those issues being the subjective and objective; the romantic and the reality. My inspiration includes the poetry of Shelley and Yeats, who use imagery of landscape and nature as a metaphor for cultural identity and nationalism. I use these themes in my work to create environments where an apparent beauty becomes interrupted by the harsh realities of war. A combination of painting and photography is used in an attempt to undermine the boundaries between truth and fiction, allowing the work to oscillate between the real and the imaginary. I present the voyeur with an alternative perspective, exploring issues of nationalism and romanticism as both a positive and negative force within contemporary society. I have attempted to challenge mainstream perceptions of this issue through consideration of different aspects of this both emotional and factual arena in relation to political conflict.