The Great Pyramids of Carlingford Lough, from the series IRELANTIS | Séan Hillen
From our current exhibition ‘Reframing the Border’, a group exhibition exploring photographic responses to the border, curated by
@hy_ireland, free admission, open everyday.
Sean Hillen’s work continues the photomontage tradition of political
artists, including the influential 1930’s artist John Heartfield. This
influence can be seen especially in Hillen's more political montages of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. His photocollage work concerned itself with the contradictions, the black comedies, and the myths
related to the Northern Conflict. “I had discovered the writings of Robert Anton Wilson and his notion
of ‘Reality Tunnels’ – the idea that we are all, by human nature,
severely limited in our comprehension and apprehension of the world by
the web of language and ideas we have acquired and accreted and which
forms our ‘reality tunnel’ – and that our job, to become more human, may be to look outside of the cave and beyond the flickering shadows.” His later ‘Irelantis’ scalpel-and-glue collages present a bizarre hybrid of everyday postcard visuals, elevated into a dreamlike and
fantastical ‘other world’. Many of these highly decorative collages, showing landmarks from around Ireland, are no bigger than a postcard, as most were based on the famous picture postcards of John Hinde. Hillen adapts these nostalgic images, juxtaposing the familiar touristic shots to create an altogether different and complex image.