Irelantis – Set of 8 postcards by Sean Hillen
Sean Hillen’s Irelantis collages have been described as “the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland” and now have themselves become part of the cultural landscape.
This set of 8 individual postcards of Sean Hillen’s acclaimed collages from Irelantis have been reproduced to the highest standards to maintain the feel of John Hinde’s originals that still inspire Seán to this day. They are printed on a high quality 380gsm art paper after which a gloss laminate finish is applied.
“The Irelantis pictures began I think partly as a joke about whether Ireland was ‘civilised’, a sort of development from the ‘noble / savage’ jokes.
I was originally toying with calling them ‘Ancient Monuments In Ireland’, and moving monuments from around the world into Irish landscapes. Then I hit on the Irelantis word, which while it has a bit of anxiety about it, also is a licence for delightful imaginings.They’re also I suppose about the place of any place in the World, and about the idea that Irishness was perhaps a state of mind- I also remember being in my kitchen in London and hearing on the radio the song called “If We Only Had Old Ireland Over Here”, with a line that went “…if only Sydney Harbour opened onto Galway Bay. There’s often some disaster or catastrophe in progress, but also an odd calmness while people go about their normal business or look on curiously.They also, I hope, have a far more ‘visionary’ and hopeful aspect; a sense of immanence, of the magical and spritual aspects of reality leaking out into public spectacle.I hope you enjoy seeing them. “
“Most all of my works have been ‘traditional’ scalpel-and-glue photomontages. The oldest ones were made between 1983 and ’93, were always based on one of my own documentary photographs made in Northern Ireland, and were somehow related to and to an extent engaged in, the northern conflict” SH
‘Seán Hillen’s Irelantis images are maps of a world in which the imagination is part of reality, the visual equivalent of the sound the sun makes as it sinks into the sea’ Fintan O’Toole
About the Artist.
Born in 1961 in Newry, N.Ireland., Hillen lives and works in Dublin. He studied at Belfast College of Art, London College of Printing and the Slade School of Fine Art.
A ‘traditional’ collagist whose work has both popular and intellectual appeal, Hillen is one of the most significant Irish artists of his generation. He first gained notice in the U.K. for his early works based on his own photos from the Northern Irish ‘troubles’, (which have themselves recently been acquired as a permanent collection for the Irish National Library Archives and published as ‘Melancholy Witness’ by The History Press in Ireland and in 2014 in the U.S..
The resulting photomontages since have become quite widely-known and are studied as examples of the medium. (e.g. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/davepalmer/cutandpaste/hillen.html )
In the 1990’s he moved to Dublin and began a new series titled ‘IRELANTIS’, which have come to be described as “the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland”- and have themselves become part of the cultural landscape, for instance featuring on the covers of over 20 books, magazines and journals, and themselves the subject of academic study.
He has also executed commissions and collaborations including video for Sony Music/Super Furry Animals; stage design, advertisements, title graphics and permanent sculptures for Citi Group and Dublin City Council.
He won the international design competition, with landscape architect Desmond Fitzgerald, for the Omagh Bomb Memorial unveiled in August 2008.
His work is in many private and public collections including the Irish State Collection, Permanent Collection of the Imperial War Museum (works on permanent exhibition), Newry & Mourne Museum, Wolverhampton Museum, Allied Irish Bank, the European Central Bank, The Irish Central Bank, Citigroup SA, Aspen Re. (through the Contemporary Art Society), the BBC and Microsoft Ltd.
He has won several awards and prizes including a major bursary from the Irish Arts Council in 2015.
In 2017 The Golden Thread Gallery will open the first major Seán Hillen retrospective; ‘100 WORKS’ a 35-year ‘review’ show.
His work can be seen at www.seanhillen.com and at www.irelantis.com