Portraits of Pain

Context/ Background to project
I was asked to try to create artwork that visualises physical pain.

Vincent Connelly suffered daily physical pain. When I met Vincent Connelly he had given up painkillers because he said they left him with little quality of life. Instead he dealt with his pain by looking out over the Curragh in Kildare and meditating. We met in Kildare over a number of months and discussed his experiences and the artwork I was developing.

Early on I realised that suffering pain is a personal experience. Vincent had an acute sense of how to describe their experience visually and emotionally.

During the project I made a series of action, text, image and object based artworks not simply about Vincent’s pain but about him, his strength, his spirit and my experience of him.

Vincent Connelly died on the 11th of July 2009.
I am all the better for having spent time with him.
Dominic Thorpe.

Performance
Title:'MIND / MATTER'
Performance / Installation
Duration: two hours
Material: chair, scribe, mirror
Location: National College of Art and Design Gallery Dublin 2009 - Filmbase, Templebar 2007

Sitting on a chair that has only two back legs

Mirror
Eyes closed
Singing WITH STRENGTH I WILL REPAIR TO THE CURRAGH OF KILDARE

Repeatedly scribing the words ‘Mind - Matter’ into a mirror

Click images to enlarge