Erin De Burca (Ireland)
Hailing from a family with a strong tradition in the Irish arts – amongst them familiar names such as Brendan Behan and Peadar Kearney, author of our national anthem; – it is not surprising that Erin should draw inspiration from her native city. This collection juxtaposes well-known images of Dublin with scenes of other cities she has recently visited. The particular flavour of Dublin is highlighted by its contrast with Barcelona, London, Venice and Ferrara.
After many years living abroad Erin started painting Dublin cityscapes. “I realized that my visual perception of the place where I had spent my formative years was different from that of other urban centres. In our native city, everything has meaning for us at some level, either through our own experience of it or collective history, so whatever image I choose to represent comes loaded with that meaning. Indeed, it is selected because of it. In a foreign city, it is only the aesthetic value that influences my choice of subject and I am unaware of its significance for those more familiar with it. In a way, it is similar to personal relationships; when we know someone well, we no longer notice if they are beautiful or not, whereas it is one of the first things we observe in a new acquaintance.
These oil paintings of Dublin record observations of the city now, after many years living away. As I contemplate the city and taste its familiarity, what has changed, more often what has not, I see things I hadn’t noticed before, because now I make comparisons with other places. But at the same time it feels as though the present-day city is forever mingling with my past and its own past.
My aim is not so much to remind the viewer of what is already familiar to him/her but to share my personal perspective of that place and in doing so I assert my individuality. Although we may have a collective history, our personal stories colour our perspective; no place is exactly the same for any two people. This separates us from all others and makes it a solitary stroll through city streets, perhaps even a lonely one, a reminder that we live and die alone.”Erin De Burca