My practice explores superstitions and folklore. Superstitions have always held a core place in Irish culture but as time progresses the mischievous and malevolent spirits that once occupied the spoken word and imagination are being forgotten only to be seen as figures of parody.
I take mythological humanoids and fairies and attempt to portray them in a more realistic and contemporary fashion, wanting to render them as somebody who could possibly pass us by on the street giving them invisibility through their normality. This is achieved by depicting them in everyday, casual attire such as hoodies and tracksuits, clothes surrounded with misperceptions of shady character that serve to amplify their reputations as tricksters. I work very figuratively because it creates an interesting contradiction to the make believe subject matter of the paintings.
I’m interested in how we rationalise events that could be the results of otherworldly actions with an explanation due to a lack of belief, a refusal to believe or possibly to keep this supernatural spectrum secret. Using this lack of fear towards fairy folk combined with the clothing is something that I use to reflect the contemporary human condition. Leprechauns are no longer needed to mend shoes and nor are banshees an omen of death, these characters of superstition are effectively unemployed.
In order for the light and shadows to fall as accurately as possible and heighten the level of realism I build props that are added as prosthetics such as an oversized clover for the leprechaun or horns for the pooka. All of this has inadvertently given the early stages of each painting an element of theatricality.