It still Troubles me.
It is rumored that Sigmund Freud once said that the Irish were the only race impervious to psychoanalysis. An unnamed follower of Freud is said to have split up human psychology into two categories - Irish and non-Irish. Although there is no reliable source of this statement, it seems that the Irish psyche was at some point a topic of conversation for Freudians.
The Irish seem to have no interest in picking apart their own brains; when they have psychic trouble they turn to poetry, storytelling or alcohol. This leaves them tied to their past, in a clash of identities and a mass of contradictions. Escapism is a commonly used tactic for avoiding rational thought for many of the Irish people I know, including myself.
I am aware that I have avoided confronting the impact that the aftermath of The Troubles has had on me. I was born in Northern Ireland, after the Good Friday Agreement, so I never witnessed the horrors of the past nor was I immediately affected by them. The social, political and ideological division caused by Northern Ireland’s past has never been fully resolved, and living in the shadow of this has affected me.
It is evident, through the continued impact of the past on younger generations, that our country is still struggling to achieve true peace. The Troubles, even 22 years after the Good Friday Agreement, continues to cast a long shadow over life in Northern Ireland.
I have a strange reluctance to come face to face with this shadow in my art, mirroring the UK government’s reluctance to give due attention to Northern Ireland. I encounter an internal conflict when representing The Troubles in my art. I want to attempt to be receptive to self-analysis. This project is the product of my reflection of my relationship to my country for the first time as I started to feel the tensions in my country rise, and I started to see my country in the images I was taking.