‘Trapped’: Concrete Bollard with Barbed Wire
© By Marie-Thérèse Davis
Growing up in Belfast during The Troubles, was for me, a period of frustration, restrictions and the ever-present noise of the army helicopter. The distinctive sounds of the Chinook helicopter/transporters as they ferried troops, supplies and ammunition above our city, created the sound track of my youth. Every movement was observed and all travel monitored by the armed forces. Even within the sanctity of our family home, I felt trapped and watched.
Our politicians were predominantly male, the terrorists were predominantly male, the civil war was predominantly male. No-one seemed to listen to the women in our society, those mothers, wives and daughters, with ideas, opinions and philosophies of their own.
In this work, the female figure is trapped within the concrete bollard and wrapped in barbed wire as an additional safety measure. Concrete bollards were an essential part of our landscape. They were everywhere; used by the armed forces to close roads and “rat runs” (or easy escape routes for terrorists), to keep warring communities apart, to defend strategic buildings throughout the country. They were iconic for me. I’m still surprised when I see them in other countries as for so long, they were a symbol of Northern Ireland and the armed struggle.
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