Thanks Kiera for the following text:
“Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone” W.B.Yeats. September 1913.
As an immigrant to Australia, O'Toole is concerned with the repositioning of Irish Identity in a post modern culture and with issues of negotiating individual identity; the reality of migration; a sense of place and displacement of language and community. Her artwork is an emotive response to immigration and the inquiry into the (pre)conceptions of Ireland and ‘Irishness’.
“Blue bottles, in the Irish imagination, are alien to us. They exist only in exotic places / spaces. They are exquisite in their visual beauty but you can’t touch them. They drift aimlessly, unrooted, uncertain, grouping; gazing in different directions so in case of danger, some can survive. Blue Bottles are not a single organism, but made up of a number of zooids. Each zooid has a specific role and together they function as if it were an animal. These little beings remind me that we all need a safe place/space, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
As an immigrant to Australia, I am establishing new beginnings. The distance both physically and psychologically between the two countries allows me to take “a look at us as Irish people, our displacement, our living all over the world, our history of emigration, our psyche” (Alanna O Kelly). ‘My intention is not fashion sentimentality of a homeland’. (John Moriarty 2007) but to express the private and collective basic emotions common to all immigrants and express my perception of Ireland today.
The poem, September 1913 by W.B.Yeats, is a response to the Lockout of September 1913 in Dublin. Yeats was infuriated by the man who led the lockout, W. M. Martin as he also refused to support Yeats ambition of buying an art gallery in Dublin. Yeats comment in this poem, on the justification of the pursuit of money and the lack of idealism in Ireland is reminiscent of Ireland today.
“What need you, being come to sense,
But fumble in a greasy till
And add the halfpence to the pence
And prayer to shivering prayer, until
You have dried the marrow from the bone;”
Over the last twenty years, Ireland has experienced the ‘Celtic Tiger’. (The ‘Celtic Tiger’ is an idiom for the period of rapid economic growth in the Republic of Ireland. (1990s – 2001) During this time Ireland experienced a boom in which it was transfigured from one of Europe's poorer countries into one of its wealthiest which continues to present day.)
Many people in Ireland believe the growing consumerism is destroying Ireland’s culture. Our new economy has created such wealth and affluence that it has desensitized its people. We have, in my opinion, to a large extent, become superficial and depersonalized. Ireland of old, an enclosed, inward looking and conservative country still lies in the underbelly of Irish society. ‘Romantic Ireland is dead and gone’.
Dialogues: Women from Ireland. Katy Deepwell. Published by IB Tauris & Co LTD. P140.
Dialogue: RTE 1. Radio. ‘A tribute to John Moriarty, writer and philosopher, who died at the beginning of June.’ 7th July, 2007.