'Aos Sí', Embossed Digital Print
Shane Crotty is concerned with various subjects such as architecture, landscape, social and political themes, he combines mediums and methods throughout his imagery to create a graphic and abstracted style.
Maud Gonne MacBride was a political activist, actress and suffragette. The daughter of an English army officer, she became financially independent after his death. She became involved in French republicanism and had a child with a French politician. The child died in infancy. A story emerged that she tried to subsume the soul of her dead son into another child by conceiving on top of the tomb. This was how her daughter Iseult came about, according to WB Yeats.
Maud Gonne was influenced heavily by mythology and mysticism. She was briefly a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a group that mixed ceremony, ancient mythologies with the occult and fantasy.
She campaigned for prisoner rights and the nationalist cause. A founding member of Inghinidhe na hEireann, its main aims were furthering Irish independence, encouraging the Irish language, its arts and history while simultaneously discouraging the cultural influence of Britain. She married Major John MacBride, one of the executed after the Rising.
The Aos Sí or Tuath na Danann were a mythical race from the early records of Irish, Scottish and Isle of Man folklore. The term translates into ‘People of the Otherworld’ although the original meaning and origin is open to interpretation. It also meant the home of the gods or a type of afterlife for mortals particularly favoured by the gods.
This piece is a reflection of Maud Gonne’s interest in mysticism and, framing it in the context of the 1916 rebellion, I feel she and Yeats were aware the myths and legends around this period of Irish history would endure and shape our society.