Shane Cullen | ‘Fragments sur I'Institution Republicaine’ (1 of 4) | 1987 | Charcoal and Gouache | 102 x 74 cm
Artists have always drawn their influences from many different sources including history, politics, climate change and the land. Over on our Instagram account we’ve been focusing on artworks from the Arts Council Collection that reference other artists or works, of art from Renaissance paintings to the French Revolution.
Here, Shane Cullen, whose work is showcased under the ‘Artists Reflecting Artists’ theme, tells us more about the featured artwork and what it means to have his artwork as part of the Arts Council collection. Explore this and more from the Arts Council collection at instagram.com/artscouncilireland
I made this work in 1987 in a large bright Victorian room which I was renting with a writer at the time. It was the first time I felt that I had claimed a space and made it my own in Dublin. All furnishing was removed from this room which I painted brilliant white except for a narrow bed. The ceiling was high and it had a deep bay window where I positioned my easel and table.
I was accumulating and combining influences and reference points from a close circle of student philosophers, fellow artists and bohemian friends. Discovering the text by Louis de Saint-Just, which gave this work its title and seduced into unravelling David's revolutionary iconoclasm, "the icy blast of history" by both Ian Hamilton Finlay and Andre Wajda, "The Danton Affair", I made this work as the first piece of an ongoing series.
I was insatiably curious to understand the play of forces that had resulted in the ideological struggle, rooted in Ireland's colonial past, that had made this small island into a bloody, historical impasse and conflict zone that erupted in 1968 and continued for 30 years.
— Shane Cullen
Since 1962, the Arts Council has been buying art from working artists. The Collection that evolved tells the story of modern and contemporary Irish visual art in a unique and fascinating way. Today the Collection continues to grow and its more than 1,100 paintings, sculptures and other works are on display in public spaces all over Ireland for people to experience and enjoy first hand. You can find out more at: www.artscouncil.emuseum.com