LocationCowra Sculpture Park
CreditGift of Macquarie University 2020
AUS/US ICON is part of Ireland’s body of work that concentrates on flags – their graphic formal elements, unavoidably accompanied by their loaded symbolic nationalist and regional diatribes. Here, through the conglomerate, fussed messing of the geometric elements of the flags of the United States and Australia, a reference to the longstanding political, economic, cultural and military relationship between the two nations is well apparent. The viewer’s personal consideration of the significance and impact upon each nation of the union, covering a potential spectrum from positive to negative, is almost immediately ignited. However, Ireland’s concern is not limited to simply stimulating such thought. The sculptor is concomitantly intent upon the viewer recognising the aesthetic delight in his play of the united geometry of the flags in three dimensions. The flags share similar elements – two-dimensional stars and linear graphic strips that compose the canton and fields of each. All elements are now dissected and reconfigured, but given the added dimension of depth, they actively explore a new spatial freedom with a sense of organic curiosity and purpose, controlled through a harmony of being intertwined, linked and inseparable – arguably a metaphoric statement in itself.