upon small shoulders
Ireland’s economy spiralled into the abyss as a result of corporate arrogance, individual greed and negligent governance. The burden of our shattered economy and massive debt has become our children’s legacy.
This large oil painting (7’x3’) depicts a small child sitting precariously on rusted scaffolding with the Irish tricolour draped behind her. The old scaffolding of an unfinished property development represents the remnants of Ireland’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ boom. The little girl represents the children of Ireland left vulnerable and destitute with a crippling burden to carry as a result of greed and negligence. The flag ‘our brightest colours’ is Ireland, her heritage .
Her expression however isn’t one of fear and her posture is confident and defiant.
She is captivated by something that has distracted her from her plight and her outstretched arm gestures to the viewer. What she is looking at and the meaning of her gesture are for you to interpret.
I hope you enjoy it.
My little model
My lovely little model’s name is Tia. Originally I had intended to use her older sister Georgia as the model. I’d painted Georgia’s portrait before (she is the pretty red haired child on my portraits page). I has the set ready when they both arrived to the studio so not wanting to miss the opportunity I took shots of both girls in a variety of poses. Tia was actually wearing trousers and ugg boots in the initial shoot but as I was probably focusing more on facial expression I didn’t really notice until I was examining my references later. I felt that she looked too comfortable in them. I wanted the child in the painting to look vulnerable and unprotected so I got her back into the studio for a second session wearing just her dress. The final image was actually a combination of a number of shots and a bit of improvisation. And yes she has those eyes and lips – a gorgeous little dote!
The Art and the Artist
This photo (with the very serious artist!) shows the scale of the piece. I had the canvas made to 7′ x 3′ a size that the wonderful artist James Mc Neill Whistler use for a number of his paintings. I wanted to produce a series of 3 large paintings that I felt highlighted the problems my country was experiencing, and I felt Whistlers proportions created the ideal canvas size. The second of the series is underway with the third in planning.
My goatee didn’t last (Mrs C didn’t approve!) and my smile returned.
Sinéad O’Connor’s new album cover
Singer/songwriter Sinéad O’Connor acquired my painting to use as the cover of her long awaited 9th album ‘How about I be me (and you be you)?‘. Naturally I’d recommend that you run out immediately and get yourself a cd for an incredible sound and of course a stunning cover!! As an added bonus the full painting is part of the inner sleeve :).
I’ve Limited Edition Giclée Prints (and postcards) of ‘upon small shoulders’ if you’d like to get a copt of the real thing.
The perfect gift for any Sinéad O’Connor fan – A copy of her new CD ‘How about I be me (and you be you)?’ and a Limited Edition Print of ‘upon small shoulders’!