artists & participants
On September 15, after a month of working together in Project's gallery Heather Allen and NS Harsha unveiled a collaborative wall painting. During these four weeks the two artists produced a floor to ceiling work that wraps around the gallery in the form of a giant mural.
This collaboration is the result of a visit by each artist to the others country (respectively Ireland and India) and in particular their home towns of Belfast and Mysore. The two were brought together through a shared interest in drawing and graphic representation appropriated from popular sources, which included the hard edged style of sectarian murals in one case and the formulaic but elegant illustrations from Indian children's text books in the other.
Heather Allen combines literary and Biblical sources with paramilitary iconography, classical painting, emotive texts and also the many esoteric symbols that she observed in India. From his visit to Belfast NS Harsha has constructed a surreal landscape of gable ended terraced houses that morph into spirals, are interspersed with tropical plants or manipulated by the hand of god.
In an idiosyncratic fashion, the mural represents the diverse manner in which religion and the supernatural are represented in different cultures and how these then become overlaid with political and sectarian connotations. However in this work, immediate political and religious meanings fall away and are transformed within the larger scheme of the painting and also by the subjective and imaginative gestures of the artists.