‘Trapped’: Sitting on the Fence (Black & Blue)
© 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.
This study was the first of the Sitting on the Fence Series. I incorporated symbols of my childhood and teenage years, the barbed wire, the three-pronged security fencing and the disembodied female figure. I was living in Oxford at this time and was a regular visitor to the Ashmolean Museum cast gallery. The cast gallery, was filled with replicas of ancient Greek and Roman statues. I used to spend hours drawing these casts, torsos, heads, limbs, on occasion, a complete figure. The security staff were accustomed to art and architecture students with their easels, pastels or charcoal, and left us in peace to draw.
The disembodied female figure became a feature of my work at this time, nameless, voiceless, silent and unidentifiable. I surrounded it with symbols in true N.I. tradition: the security fence, the barbed wire, the concrete bollard.
Acrylics on Card