Claire Halpin: RAW WAR
“My work explores themes and concepts around contested territories and histories through painting, video and installation. This new body of work attempts to navigate the complexity of the contemporary theatre of war as battlefield expands to battlespace in the information age.
The covert machinations of the perpetual war that is arms deals, mercenaries, remote surveillance programmes and drone warfare away from the lens of the media.
The paintings employ imagery from the media, surveillance, military history, maps, archaeology, early civilization, bible stories and from the canon of art history of Byzantine and Early Renaissance to weave together a narrative through painting. I am influenced by the complex compositions of space and time in Renaissance paintings allowing multiple narratives to co-exist in the same picture plane and use these compositional devices in my work with reference to the aesthetic of gaming and virtual reality. In the Citadel Series the images are isolated from source and context like props suspended in time without context as to their significance as elements in a complex narrative of a contested territory.
The themes in the work concern the perception and interpretation of images, how the reading of images and their resonance is influenced by how they are created, depicted and the context in which they are viewed. I strive to create work that raises questions about how we choose to record history and the veracity of painting, photography, and the media in documenting future history.”