Northern Ireland/The North of Ireland
Since the late 1960s, cultural identity in Northern Ireland has been controversial. This controversy continues in everyday life as many people make a decision (usually out of fear) to hide aspects of their culture. School uniforms, sports jerseys and things as simplistic as a passport can betray you and reveal your cultural identity and, in extension, your political stance. This fear and suppression of identity is a result of the Troubles and the fear of reliving the events of the last 30 years of unrest. Through this, Northern Ireland has taken on an identity of its own due to the Troubles and its aftermath. The symbolism, which is a recurring means of expression throughout the North, is examined together with how it aligns itself with political ideologies, the history of British and Irish culture. Painting has allowed an exploration of these images and their symbolism in a removed and isolated setting.