|About the Book|
How free is the Northern Irish writer to produce even a short poem when every word will be scrutinised for its political subtext? Is the visual artist compelled to react to the latest atrocity? Must the creative artist be aware of his or her own inculcated prejudices and political affiliations, and must these be revealed overtly in the artwork? Because of these and other related questions, the recent work by Northern Irish writers and visual artists has been characterised by an inward-looking self-consciousness. It is an art that relays its personal responses in guarded, often coded ways. The series of essays is inter-disciplinary in its approach, exploring the place of art - its role and location - in the work of key Northern Irish writers (Ciaran Carson, Seamus Deane, Brian Friel, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley, Medbh McGuckian, Eoin McNamee, Glenn Patterson) and visual artists (Willie Doherty, Rita Donagh, Paul Seawright, Victor Sloan).