Prior to coming to the United States, Irish families would hold a going-away ceremony called an “American Wake” for those departing. This final leave-taking was done with the clear understanding that those emigrating to a new land would probably never return to their native home or loved ones. The emotion generated by this finality, along with a deeply ingrained passion for the land itself, has seared through successive generations, so much so, that the mere mention of Ireland is often enough to produce a reflexive longing in those having family ties to the country.
The past is also a living entity within Irish culture, and is an integral component of the Irish psyche, and by extension, in many of those having an Irish heritage. Myth, magic, and legend are as much a part of everyday life as I-phones and the Internet. The work that I am doing now attempts to tap into this deep-seated connection to the land and its past. It also seeks to promote a re-examination of how the artistic process, using ancient narratives and technologies, might transcend time in a way that synthesizes shared cultural identity and modern mindsets, with contemporary materials.
The artistic creations, born from the unique perspective of artist/academic, and experiences gained during a literal and figurative familial exile from Ireland, complete the circle that began and harkens back to Ireland.