Anna Livia Plurabelle (Heart of water). I made Annalivia in 2001, just before moving with my family to Dundalk, where I lived for four years. I had been finding the aggressive attitude of the celtic tiger difficult to live with. The river Liffey, seemed to represent the only reminder of a slower, more organic and authentic identity for the city. The river symbolized the heart of Dublin, and it managed to remain calm, and real, if sullied by pollution, during the fast frenzy of the tiger. The house where I lived with my children at the time was sold from under our feet, and, I was considering a move away from Dublin. Not a very practical decision then to make a very large, three dimensional painting. I was reading and loving Joyce's Ulisses, and I was participating in a project called the “Dublin Walking Experience”, which involved learning the history of Dublin by participating in talks, discussions and walks. The river was the centre of the city in its earliest times, and central to all its commercial activities.
We performed a song for Anna Livia on the Millenium Bridge and my painting was shown in the Temple bar galleries. The following year, Anna Livia was shown on the window of the Davies gallery in Caple Street as part of the Bloomsday celebration. She was then stored by Stan Kennedy in Focus Point, as a homeless Dublin lass, until I could retrieve her and bring her to DKIT.
Anna Livia is made with Plaster of Paris bands, which I moulded over synthetic clay, peeled off and attached to the board. I then painted it in Acrylic and enamel and metal paint. She is depicted in a spinning motion which is nearly impossible to physically achieve and which represents the fluidity of both water, and of the under current of though, emotion and dreams of the people inhabiting the city. This current moves below the surface of financial realities and is more constant and real than them.