Dermot Seymour (b.1956)

Dissident Grey Hare

Oil on canvas

120cm x 100cm

Courtesy of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Dermot Seymour was born in 1956 in Belfast. He attended the University of Ulster where he received a BA in Art and Design in 1978 and an Advanced Diploma in Art and Design in 1981.

His work has been included in many exhibitions: On the Balcony of the Nation, which toured the USA during the early 90s, The Fifth Province – Some New Art from Ireland which toured Canada from 1991 until 1993, and In a State, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin. He has had solo shows in Belfast, New York, Berlin and Dublin. Seymour has been described as “a social realist, exploring the anxiety, bewilderment and absurdity of the situation in Northern Ireland and representing it with definite imagery but in an oblique and obscure way”. His social realist approach towards Northern Irish politics frequently involves a juxtaposition of images within the Irish landscape, particularly livestock, and religious and military symbols. He lives in County Mayo and is a member of Aosdána.

This painted work attempts to convey the sinister, the suspicious, and the ambiguity of the fact that in Northern Ireland ‘nothing is ever what it seems’. The Grey Hare in the title is a term used colloquially for a subversive, but then again the figure could be and probably is an innocent farmer on a cold day in the border counties. The artist notes “this is the paradox of life in the North”.