Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Arrival of The Fish adds to town art

By now, lots of people will have seen the new fish in town. The mural by Kieran Behan not only deals with a bit of undistinguished fencing, but also adds to the body of outdoor art in the town. For those wondering about the fish's significance, Kieran explains it here.

The idea for the fish evolved as a reaction to the site and situation. The corrugated metal hoardings were my first concern, I wanted to neutralise the harsh metallic shapes so I used a technique from World War 1 where battleships and planes were painted with a strong abstract pattern that served to distort or confuse an observer's view of what they were looking at. It was called "dazzle camouflage". I used the "pointillist technique of placing dots of pure colour beside each other which when seen from a distance merge together in an effect known as optical mixing. 
The fish is a trout. He is heading down to the Liffey. A deliberate use of strong and graphic black and white serves to make the fish stand out starkly against the pixilated background. Black and white are the colours of Kilcullen, but the use of yacht varnish as a sealer had the unforeseen effect of giving the trout a golden tinge, a kind of gold fish you could call it. The patterns on the body of the fish are inspired by the art work of the peoples of the Pacific. The use of the fish motif has a strong cultural significance to them and I wanted to bring some of their bold and dramatic shapes to the Kilcullen fish. 
The mural is not totally finished. Ray Kelly has made a large hook which will give a 3D element to the finished piece. The hook is connected to a line that becomes a Celtic knot which is designed to be the first element of the mural that the passing traffic will see as it makes its way down the hill into the town.