Can I Help You?


Installation. Hessian bowls with grass and ashes, mud footprints. 1800 cms long. Bowls: 9 x 13 cms.
Randon Access Exhibition, Irish Life Mall, Dublin. 1993.

This selected show of the work of 10 Artists, was organised by the Random Access Committee of the Sculptors’ Society of Ireland. Based in the responses of the artists to the “ideology” of consumerism, the work was site specific and was situated, at Christmas time, in a fashionable shopping centre in Dublin’s City Centre. Although built near a deprived area of the inner city, this shopping centre has no supermarket and all the shops sold pricey, household trivia or expensive luxury goods. My work entitled “Can I Help You?” was placed outside one of these shops.

The metaphysical aspect of life can suffer diminishment and impoverishment through the processes and consequences of consumerism: – available commodities deny human resourcefulness; spiritual well-being is undermined by the insistence of advertising; and cultural identity is reduced to the blandness of mass-produced ideology.

Conversely, poverty has the same effect: – by eroding confidence, it represses creativity; the urgency of need provokes deprivation; and marginalisation elicits disorientation. The process is self-perpetuating; consumerism generates and highlights poverty and the effects of poverty re-iterate and affirm the doings of consumerism. Both encourage the order of conformity. Ease of obtainability begets the apathy of queuing; necessity demands it.