Stand My Ground, Stand Your Ground

alora0159403Tommy Barr is a Northern Ireland based painter, born in Dromore and with his studio in Banbridge. He has spent most of his working life in these small towns on the outskirts of the capital, Belfast.

His works are collected by several national institutions like The National Gallery (Foreign Art), Sofia, Bulgaria, The National Gallery, Amman, Jordan, The MAGNI Collection (National collection of the Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland)

Artist’s Statement

The early art of Northern Ireland is rich in the highly distinctive motifs which characterise the Celtic style. Central to this was the tendency to express ideas by symbol. This premeditated abstraction resulted in the curious, beautiful (and occasionally grotesque) icons that are the foundation of art in the Province.

To this day Northern Ireland remains steeped in these icons. From the ancient standing stones to the highly charged political graffiti of Belfast, they are embroidered into the fabric of society and brandished from almost every street corner. They have provided a potent outlet for our creative expression and unique sense of identities.

Painting in this hot-spot, Tommy’s icons owe much to legacy. He works with everyday motifs, confronting current issues via abstract filters, which frequently reference the Celtic style. In line with much of today's painting, his work owes a debt to recent artistic movements. Many are easily discernible and Tommy has not sought to disguise their influences. However, his challenge is always to retain both the disorder and the potency of the icon, to speak in our native tongue and to express that unique and still curious iconic identity.

Tommy Barr
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