FELT CROSSES, FALSE TEETH
Belfast, Northern Ireland : 1982
Installation in the foyer of the Art and Design Centre, York Street.
The installation was formed of drawings of sheep heads and skulls on front pages of the Belfast Telegraph newspaper, alternating with felt crosses cut from a felt jacket that hung in the centre of the arrangement and showed the crosses’ negative form. Hung below each cross was a set of false teeth, and below the jacket sat a pair of white shoes. Two crosses were made of cut-outs of two other newspapers titles – the News Letter and the Irish Times – each layered to display one or the other title more prominently.
‘The use of a jacket, once more, introduces material with “personal history”, acting as art, and in this case also as a source of other forms… crosses. These in turn bring in (on a simple level) a religious note, a symbol of Protestant/Catholic faith, or ‘faith’ in general. Alternating with the news they are themselves not newsworthy, and at the same time are part of the chain made up of what is newsworthy, namely violence, hatred, bigoted entrenched ideological positions etc.’
Text from ‘Alastair MacLennan: Is No’, ed. Stephen Snoddy, 1988.