John Kindness Sculpture Comes to Down County Musuem
The F.E. McWilliam Gallery have generously loaned a humorous sculpture to the Down County Musuem. The sculpture, entitled, ‘Romulus and Seamus’ by John Kindness will be on display until 19 September.
The internationally renowned artist, John Kindness, was born in Belfast in 1951. He attended the Belfast College of Art and now lives and works in London. John works in a range of media including sculpture and painting and often contrasts material, image and reference in an unusual and humorous way. ‘Romulus and Seamus’ which he created in 1992, was first gifted to the F.E. McWilliam Gallery by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland in 2012.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chiarperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is delighted that the F. E. McWilliam Gallery in Banbridge has placed this important sculpture on display at the Down County Museum for everyone to enjoy over the coming summer months. We wish to thank Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for loaning such a magnificent piece. It is sure attract a lot of attention from visitors in its temporary home, where it will be well looked after.”
Although Kindness works in a variety of media, he is best known for using recycled materials to create his mosaics, for example, the use of broken, pink bathroom fittings in ‘Romulus and Seamus’. Kindness is well known for contrasting the domestic and static association of tiling with a dynamic and epic subject and pointing to current political and social issues. This can be seen in this sculpture, as it plays on the classical image of the mythical founders of Rome, the twins Romulus and Remus, who are being suckled by a wolf. However in this case Kindness has replaced Remus with Seamus, who is coloured orange and green, and they are being suckled by an enormous pig representing Ireland as an ‘old sow’.
A famous example of John’s work is ‘The Big Fish’ located in Donegall Quay in Belfast. This is a printed ceramic mosaic sculpture, measuring 10 metres long, that was constructed in 1999. ‘The Big Fish’ image appears on Belfast and Northern Ireland related tourism material and was commissioned to celebrate the regeneration of the River Lagan, which is a significant landmark as it is the location of the confluence of the River Farset with the River Lagan.
Kindness is also well known for his other public art works such as ‘The Museum of the Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly (1998)’ situated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and ‘Waterfall of Souvenirs (1991) ‘previously located at the Europa Bus Station, Belfast.
‘Romulus and Seamus’ has been generously placed on loan to Down County Museum from the F. E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge, where a permanent display of work by Banbridge born sculptor, F.E. McWilliam and other fascinating temporary exhibitions can be seen.
For further information and to pre-book places please contact Down County Museum on 028-44615218.