“I drew inspiration from Joseph Beuys’ visit to Ireland where he spoke in the gallery about the soul and its transition between different levels of existence.” Street artist Asbestos is talking about the near ritualist manner of creation he used for this new mural he’s painted in Dublin.
By uttering an incantation after completing each extinguished match stick, the artist may have held the hand of a dearly departed individual as they passed from this life to the next.
Each of the nearly five thousand people who passed away during the pandemic in Ireland is intimated here – a searing tribute that he completed over ten days. “Each match represents the life of a person… each extinguished at a different stage of existence,” he tells us. “Each life cut short, along with their hopes, ambitions, and the memories.”
Part of a new initiative for the Hugh Lane Gallery, and the new exhibition ‘From Secret Block to ROSC’ by Joseph Beuys, Asbestos tells us about the anonymous figure made of figures just completed.
“When you stand back and view the work from a distance, it forms a profile of me standing and looking up, with my hands raised to the sky,” he says. “This symbol unites the many intertwined matches to form a single representation of hope. United, we are stronger.”
Artist: Asbestos – @artofasbestos
Hugh Lane Gallery @thehughlane
Film and Photography Sean Curtis @designmaketake
Mural Assisted by Colm Weakliam @withoutmatter