Paul Cotter

AthBhreithnithe : Sean Hillen

Paul Cotter
AthBhreithnithe : Sean Hillen

AthBhreithnithe

Seán Hillen

TógadhHillenin Iúr Cinn Trá i gContae an Dúin.Rinne sé staidéar sa Choláiste Ealaíne i mBéal Feirste,saLondon College of Printing, agus saSlade School of Fine Art.Tá séiomráiteach as a chuid saothar fótamontáise atá déanta de réir nateicníce ‘traidisiúnta’ le sceanóg agus gliú, stíl atá tarraingteach don lucht inteachtach agus don choitiantacht araon.Tá mórán taispeántas tugtha aige agus déantar staidéar ar a chuid saothar go forleathan..

Tá ant-eagrán úrnua seo de phriontaí mhórscála, abhaineann an t-anáil de dhuine arábhfeiceáil, ó bhailiúchán dar teidealWHAT'S WRONG? withThe Consolations of Genius,tá siadcruthaitheóscanadh iontach ardtaifeach dá chuid saothar montáise agustugann an méid mionghnéithe úrnuaatá sonraitheléargas úr ar shaothar Hillen agus as sin a fhaigheann antaispeántas a theideal.Lena chois sin,tá priontaí níos lú (agus níos saoire) ar taispeántas,chomh maith le roinnt buncholláisí nach bhfacthas ach go hannamh.Rinneadh na priontaí atháirgeadh i gcomhar leis anCopper House Galleryi mBaile Átha Cliath, gailearaí inar taispeánadh iad den chéad uairníos luaithe i mbliana.Tá meáchan de chóir a bheith gigibheartan ceann sna scanacháin a bhí de dhíth chun na priontaí ollmhóra a tháirgeadh agus léiríonn siad gearradh sceanóige an ealaíontóra agus gach uile phonc den bhunábhargo hiontachsonrach.

Nuair a bhí sé ag déanamh staidéir ar na healaíona, ba ghnách leHillena bheith ag taisteal idir Éirinn agus Sasainar feadh dornán blianta agus tharraing sé mórángrianghrafde natrioblódí sa Tuaisceart. Siocair go raibh sédubh dóite den easpa deise a bhí ann chun a chuid pictiúr a thaispeáint, thosaigh sé á gcur isteach i saothair fótamontáise.Sa deireadh,thosaigh sé ag glacadh pictiúr díreach ar mhaitheleis an fótamontáis, saothar a chleachtaigh sé ó sin ar aghaidh.

Tá teidil fhada ghreannmhara ar chuid mhór de na saothair seo, leithéidí"Sr. Faustina Appears In LondoNewry, Miraculously Preventing the Illegal Photography of Members of TheSecurity Forces...".(Go teicniúil, bhí agus tá sé mídhleathach pictiúirí a ghlacadh de na fórsaí slándála). Cé go bhfuil siad aorach agus cineál conspóideach, thaitin na saothair seo lemuintir na Breataine agus rinneadh iad a fhoilsiú go forleathan archlúdaigh irisleabhar macasamhailCreative Cameraagus anRoyal Photographic Journal.

Sa bhliain1993,tháinig sé ar ais go hÉirinn agus thosaigh sé ar sraith úrnua dar teidealIRELANTIS.Nuair a amharcann duine orthu i dtús báire, feictear hibrid choimhthíoch deghnáthchártaí poist measctha isteach i ‘ndomhan eile’ fantaiseach,achníl na colláistí seo, ina léirítearsainchomharthaí ó gach cearn d’Éirinn, níl siad mórán níos mó ná cártaí poistagus go minic cuireadh le chéile iad faoi mhicreascóip.Déanann Hillen na pictiúirícumhiúlaseo, atá bunaithe go minicar chártaí poist cháilíulaJohn Hinde,a oiriúnú ar mhaithe lesaothar atá i bhfad níos difriúla agus níos casta a chruthú.Ó shin i leith táIRELANTISfite fuaite isteach i dtírdhreach cultúrtha nahÉireann,agus le feiceáil, mar shampla, ar chorradhle 25 clúdach leabhair, mar phaistísí ar fhógraíocht agus mar ábhar tráchtais ag mic léinn agus lucht acadúil.

Mar gheall ar an eispéireas a fuair sé le linn do a bheith ag comhdhearadh an Leacht Cuimhneacháin ar Bhuama an Ómaighmaraon le bás duine dá lucht aitheantais i mbuamáilLondain sa bhliain 2005, spreagadh Hillen le pilleadh ar pholaíocht ‘bheo’ sa saothar a rinne sé ina dhiaidh sin, agus tháinig sraith úrnua dar teideal"Searching for Evidence.."ar antsaol i dtrátha2007. Rinne sé forbairt ar an téama sin ina shaothar is déanaí agus is gríosaithí go dtí seo: "WHAT'S WRONG? withThe Consolations of Genius.."a cuireadh artaispeántas den chéad uairin 2011.

Seo a leanas an méid a bhí le rá agFintan O’Toolefá shaothar Hillen:“oibríonn iomlán an tsaothair(na pictiúirí)siocairan dóigh inambaineann sé feidhm asaimhréir:na Pirimídí Mórai Loch Cairlinn,spásairí ag teacht anuas i gCuan Áth na Long, an Mhaighdean Mhuirea taispeáint féin oscionn patról de chuid Arm na Breataine,túir faire i bPiccadilly Circus agusbusannaLondaininIúr Cinn Trá.Tá contrárthachtaí nochtaithe agHillentríspladhsáil le chéilea dhéanamh aran rud miotasach leis an rud saolta,meidhir le huafás, an rud áitiúil leisan rud domhanda, beogacht le foréigean. Is cinnte dearfa nach bhfuil a shaothar urramach nó sollúnta ar dhóigh ar bith.”

Sa bhliain2011, fuair An Chartlann Náisiúnta Ghrianghrafadóireachta (páirt de Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann) tuairim is700 de ghrianghraifbhunaidh Hillen ó aimsir na‘trioblóide’, lena gcoinneáil mar Bhailiúchán Buan, agus ar na mallaibhcuireadh roghnúchán díobh ar taispeántasi mórthaispeántas ina ngailearaí i mBarra an Teampaill.Tabharfar‘Bailiúchán Seán Hillen’ arna grianghraif.I measc a chuid gníomhaíochtaí ealaíne eile, tá sraith grianghraf macasamhail an‘Untitled Broken Umbrella Project’,gailearaí de na céadtaíscáthanna fearthainne a caitheadh ar shiúl; mar an gcéanna, tá sraith eile grianghraf aige de rothair bhriste darb ainm‘Dublin Bicykills’;agus fiú gailearaí suímh gréasáin de"PeopleWith Broken Umbrellas".RinneHillenpopfhíseán do‘Sony Music/Super Furry animals’,dearadh stáitse, agus sa bhliain2007bhain sé féin agus an t-ailtire tírdhreacha,DesmondFitzgerald,an comórtas do dhearadh Leacht Cuimhneacháinar Bhuama an Ómaigh;is féidir an t-eolas seo go léir a fháil ar a shuíomh gréasáin cuimsitheach,www.seanhillen.com.

Feidhmíonn Gailearaí Oliver Sears Gallery,Baile Átha Cliath, ar son Séan Hillen


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Sean Hillen

Hillen was raised in Newry, County Down, and studied at theBelfast College of Art, London College of Printing, and at the Slade School of Fine Art. He is celebrated for his photomontage works made in the 'traditional' scalpel-and-glue technique, which are noted for having both intellectual and popular appeal. He has exhibited extensively and his work is widely studied.

This new edition of visually stunning large-scale prints from a collection entitledWHAT'S WRONG? withThe Consolations of Genius.. are generated from extremely high resolution scans of his montage works, and the new amazing amount of detail revealed gives an entirely new look at Hillen’s work and gives the show its title.Also exhibited are smaller (and more affordable) prints and a number of the rarely-seen original collages. The prints were produced in co-operation with, and first exhibited earlier this year, at theCopper House Gallery Dublin. The scans to produce the mega-prints weigh in at nearly a gigabyte each and reproduce the artist's scalpel-cuts and every single dot of the original material in dizzying detail.

As an art student, Hillen had travelled back and forth between Ireland and England over the course of several years, and photographed many scenes related to the Northern conflict. Frustrated with the lack of opportunity to show the photos, he began to incorporate these photographs into photomontage works. Eventually, he began to take photographs with the photomontage as his priority, and the photomontage work became his practice.

Many of these works have lengthy, comical titles such as"Sr. Faustina Appears In LondoNewry, Miraculously Preventing the Illegal Photography of Members of The SecurityForces...".(Taking photos of the security forces was, and is, technically illegal.). Though satirical and somewhat controversial, these works on Northern Ireland were popular with the British public and were published widely, appearing on the covers ofCreative Camera and theRoyal Photographic Journal.

In 1993,He returned to Ireland and began a new series entitled IRELANTIS. At first glancea bizarre hybrid of familiar postcards, mixed into a fantastical ‘other world’, thesecollages, featuring landmarks from around Ireland, are themselves little bigger than postcards and were often actually assembled under a microscope. Often based on the famous picture postcards ofJohn Hinde, Hillen adapts these nostalgic images, to create an altogether different and more complex result. IRELANTIS has since itself become part of the Irish cultural landscape, appearing for instance on over 25 book covers, pastiched in advertisements and the subject of student and academic theses.

Hillen’s experience co-designing the Omagh Bomb Memorial and the death of an acquaintance in the 2005 London bombings stimulated a return to 'live' politics in his recent work, and a new series entitled "Searching for Evidence.."appeared around 2007, with the theme developing into his latest and most provocative body of pictures: "WHAT'SWRONG? withThe Consolations of Genius.." first exhibited in 2011.

Fintan O’Toole commented that “all of (the pictures) work by exploiting incongruity: the Great Pyramids in Carlingford Lough, cosmonauts splashing down in Annalong Harbour, the Virgin Mary appearing above a British Army patrol, watchtowers in Piccadilly Circus and London Buses in Newry. Hillen has visualised contradictions by splicing together the mythic and the mundane, hilarity and horror, the local and the global, vitality and violence. What his work most emphatically is not is reverential or solemn.”

In 2011 the National Photographic Archive (part of the National Library of Ireland) acquired as a Permanent Collection, around 700 of Hillen's original photographs from the 'troubles' era, and a selection have recently been shown in a major exhibition at their gallery in Temple Bar. The photos will be known as 'The Seán Hillen Collection’.

Other artistic activities include photo series such as the ‘Untitled Broken Umbrella Project’, which consists of a gallery of hundreds of photos of discarded umbrellas; a similar collection of photos of vandalised bicycles‘Dublin Bicykills’;and even a website gallery of"People With Broken Umbrellas". Hillen has made pop video for Sony Music/SuperFurry animals, stage design, and in 2007 He won, with landscape architect Desmond Fitzgerald, the competition to design the Omagh BombMemorial; all of which can be explored via his comprehensive website www.seanhillen.com

Seán Hillen is represented by the Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin