‘The changes that convulse society do not appear from nowhere,’ writes the historian Roy Forster in his book Vivid Faces: the Revolutionary Generation in Ireland (1890-1923).
He continues ‘They happen first in people’s minds, and through the construction of a shared culture...’
While reading this, I thought of Dr. Kathleen Lynn’s account of the Citizen Army’s occupation of City Hall in 1916. She noted that when she arrived as part of the occupying force she found
“The gate of the City Hall was locked and I had to climb over it, though I don’t know how I did it.”
This print symbolises that tiny moment of strength, which she needed to find within herself. It showed me the importance of the previous decades of cultural revival before the rising which gave strength to a small number of ordinary individuals to do courageous acts when the final bid for independence erupted in 1916.
'I don't know how I did it', Lino Cut on
Fifi Smith was born in Cavan and after lots of education, and many adventures (see CV), she moved to Celbridge, Co. Kildare where she works sculpturally in many different media. She has been exhibiting nationally and internationally since 1998.
Conceptually, she explores the shifts in behaviour that happen to individuals when they operate as part of a group or when acting as an individual. By the use of composition, mixed media and symbolism she teases out and brings form to where this interplay occurs in human activity.