Head of Hercules by Hannah O’Connell

I grew up within walking distance of Graystown Castle in county Tipperary.  So I was always infatuated with historical ruins and what was left behind in a contemporary cultural context. This led me to work with Historical fragments within Museum collections. I wanted to see how I could restore and repurpose them with modern technologies.

Historical carvings were often commissioned by the powerful of their time to capture and immortalise the likeness of the sitter. As numerous examples show however, these carvings more usually resulted in generic forms as sculptors worked to the style of the time rather than recording what they saw.

Today, we have become responsible for how our own image is represented through digital technologies, but the deceit continues using devices such as filters and photoshop.

My work explores portraiture and how likeness and identity are lost through recording in both traditional and contemporary processes. Using a combination of digital new media and traditional ceramic processes, I begin by unearthing new potential within historical museum fragments. Artefacts that encapsulate the generics of their era are chosen. These include Egyptian, Greek, Renaissance and Neo-classical styles. Scanning and reconstructing the original artefacts through digital and traditional techniques produce new artefacts that are close to, but not quite a facsimile of the original.

I use my own portrait to represent a generic contemporary figure. I then use digital scanning and photogrammetry to cut and intersect this contemporary image with the historical artefacts. I embrace the blurring of identity, exploiting the subtle adjustments brought by the various processes, such as change of scale and evidence of method used.

The final artefacts are hybrids of ancient and modern culture and techniques as they are altered in translation and take on new, contemporary personalities.

 

Head of Hercules                                                                                                                                          Porcelain Cast w/PLA 3D Print 1/2                                                                                                                          NFS

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