For generations religion played a powerful role in creating the fabric of my country’s society, fusing faith with identity from an early age. In recent years there has been a dramatic shift in both Church attendance and attitudes to Church policies, most obviously in the passing of referenda to allow Same Sex Marriage and Abortion. Noticeably though while the counts were being tallied in May 2018, families around the country were preparing their children for their first Holy Communion ceremonies.
Breaking the Mould begins with a simple but provocative act of placing sacramental bread over the faces of children in their Holy Communion and Confirmation day photographs, the resulting image an incongruous mix of object and subject. Interested in exploring the effect of religious influence over a society as well as the role of ritual and tradition as a form of human expression these jarring images provided the starting point to the work.
The photograph, a precious object itself entwined with the history of ceremony is presented throughout the work alongside constructed pieces. Using the bread as the base material for these constructed works was integral to the process. Reactions varied depending on the substance and method that was used, sometimes rigid and strong, sometimes stretched and malleable, sometimes brittle and fragmented.