Benny Sweeney is an Irish artist who specializes in large scale collage pieces primarily using newsprint, vinyl, maps, wallpaper and acrylic paint. Much of his life has been spent traveling the globe with spells living in Canada, the United States, Italy and more recently, Spain. Currently, he lives and work in Belfast where his next solo exhibition will be displayed in the city’s Ulster Hall in October 2014.
Benny had this to say about the Concordia series: “This work explores conflict resolution through shape and colour, sometimes employing motifs, symbols and text to punctuate the co-existence of tension within a confined space. Referencing the later Matisse technique of cut and paste, experimentation in layering disparate ‘found’ narratives examines the supposed neutrality of decoration and the suggestion of order amidst chaos. Through a process of selection and filtering, my practice explores the relevance of meaning in a world of dissolving boundaries and superfluous information . ‘Conflict resolution’ is a phrase often repeated in the North of Ireland and having witnessed the shuffling peace process culminate with the Good Friday agreement in 1998, I, like everyone else, thought a new era of peace had been cautiously ushered in. These hopes were shattered when the confined space of my home town center was blown apart by a bomb, killing 31 people and injuring hundreds more. My work questions whether conflict can be resolved or is it only possible to co-exist in a perpetual state of tension.”