Hehir and Noonan – Brides
Friday / Dé hAoine
The model confronts the viewer, her head and torso are hidden under a white shroud. Hands, hair, a bear glove, and mask are signifiers to her persona. We are influenced by Irish mythology and old Irish text which show the presence of the powerful Irish woman, an allegorical figure who in many senses represented the spirit of the Earth itself, the anima mundi. In Irish mythology the goddess is a young woman or a hag, a mother or a virgin, a warrior, or a seductive temptress, depending on the occasion. In later centuries, these women were whitewashed from the annals of history or made subservient to the dominant patriarchy. However, in the last century we see her again re-emerge a potent presence in poetry and literature. Our female model embodies the merging of her ancient spirit and that of contemporary woman. We are influenced by current feminist struggle and this work also responds to the historical legacies of church and state. Talismanic objects that were part of Irish myth and legend play a role in the recreation of our feminine protagonists, magic shoes for swift walking, magic cloaks of invisibility, magic keys to open any locks, and magic sticks that grew to form bridges or supports. Hehir & Noonan Statement;Hehir & Noonan, Irish artists who work both independently and collaboratively using a number of different mediums but primarily print and print installation. Our interest lies in our cultural history and current events that shape the Irish landscape from the geographical to the political. The cultural archive is a critical element of our research, these various repositories of information are often the starting point for strong debate. Arising from our subjective perceptions and encompassing ideas relating to the physical, the metaphysical, the political and the mundane the work coalesces into a unified response. Our work embraces many different forms, including temporary interventions, permanently sited sculptural installations and curatorial programmes.