Here, There, and the Spaces Between

By Aisling • • 25 May 2020

Currently on display at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina

8′ x 18′ x 18′



Currently available

Here, There, and the Spaces Between is a representation of my cultural influences and their interconnected relationships.   It discusses the placement of myself within the surrounding society and the walls that are created by cultural displacement.  The work is comprised of six individual elements, three curved solid forms that present an icon to the viewers and three interwoven circular walls.  To gain a comprehensive understanding of this work, it should be observed as individual forms, and as a single complex whole.

The three solid curved forms are inspired by the cusped ogee windows, gothic archways, and the standing stones that are scattered around the Irish landscape.  The size of each form varies to represents a different period of my cultural development.  Each period is marked by an icon created in the style of an interwoven knotwork that is placed on the top of the corresponding form.  The shortest form presents an interlace knot that is similar to the traditional knotwork found throughout Irish visual culture.  Both the compressed height of the work and the traditional knot personifies the culture of my youth, a culture that was presented to me from birth through my heritage.  The intermediate form displays an interwoven shamrock.  The shamrock represents many things in Irish culture.   Here it is used in reference to the logo of Aer Lingus – the national airline carrier of Ireland. It represents travel between my two cultures, Ireland and the United States, a connection to home, and the hybrid culture that is created by combining them.  The tallest form exhibits a filigree star that encompasses a person of my height, 5ft 4 inches.  This star represents the United States and the growth of this culture within me.  While the iconography represents different stages of my cultural development, the solid foundation forms which they are presented upon are reminiscent of the visual foundations of the Irish Culture. Each form is surrounded by a see-through curved wall that decreases in elevation from right to left.  These walls display Celtic interlace knotwork and the triskele symbol that I use to represent the three aspects to my identity; Irish, American, and the hybrid between the two. This symbol is echoed in the footprint of the entire sculpture. The triskele is an ancient symbol carved on Neolithic stones that consists of three conjoined concentric spirals.  It defines the foundation of my Irish heritage while provide three separate but interconnected aspects of my cultural development.   Each of the three walls spirals out from the center at equal distance and interval, to affirm their equal significance