Seán Hillen (Ireland)
“The Troubles” rocked Northern Ireland for over two decades, an ethno-political conflict that began in the late 1960’s and ended with the Belfast Agreement of 1998. Unfortunately, violence continues on a sporadic basis despite the global efforts of the parties involved.
Sean Hillen’s surprising response to this tumultuous period in Northern Ireland’s history illustrates the sharp emotional sword of conflict and contrasts it with superhuman characters of celluloid and religion, presenting a surreal testimony tinged with humour. In his collages, Sean mixes his own photographs taken during the conflict with stupendous appropriated imagery, ranging from classic religious pictures, to television heroes and the dawn of the space age, mirroring popular events and beliefs concurrent with the events of this time, resulting in what the artist describes as “thought experiments’ and adventures”.
Sean agrees with the words of Walter Benjamin that “convulsion of the diaphragm usually provides better opportunities for thought than convulsions of the soul”.
Peggy Sue Amison