Genius of Genre The Pen Names and Personas of Flann O'Brien

O'Kane Artworks

Artist Statement: Edward O’Kane

My artwork references the influence of O’Nolan’s youth in Strabane. The writer looks through the framing device of the windows and lace curtains of his birthplace at the townscape that surrounds it. The artworks also address the question of identity and the use of multiple personae in O’Nolan’s writings.

Edward O’Kane, January, 2019

The content and materiality of documents relating to O’Nolan’s former homes in Strabane have inspired me to create an evolving series of paintings. The documents act as a ground upon which disparate fragments can play out an open-ended narrative stimulated by O’Nolan’s novels and authorial personae.

My childhood summers were spent in Strabane, and I have lived across the border in nearby in Lifford since 1975. Examining the physical remains of houses, together with the forensic investigation of deeds, maps, plans, and correspondence relating to the previous owners of these buildings, has led me to believe that many of the descriptions of place, people, and events in O’Nolan’s novels derive from his childhood in Strabane. Many of my paintings are based on imagined views from the windows of the house where he was born.

Artist Statement: David O’Kane

Rather than illustrating O’Nolan’s writings, my paintings form a dialogue with the ideas and absurd, surreal worlds that he created. The paintings also have a symbiotic relationship with my animated and video artworks. In some cases the paintings act as malleable props within the animated mise-en-scène; in others, the videos suggest compositions for painting.

David O’Kane, January, 2019